The amount of passion with which people argue this point is unbelievable. What is worse is the arrogance that I find in many of these posts. There is a group that believes that someone like me - a 16 hour and 26 minute finisher DOES NOT deserve to wear the tattoo. Not only do they think I don't deserve it, they think that it is pathetic that I would flaunt my "mediocrity". They think that my accomplishment is worthless.
I read one blog post that talked about the stickers that people put on their car - 26.2 for marathons - and he said "show me a car with a 26.2 sticker and I'll show you person who runs more than a 3:30 marathon". Guess what dick...that's most of us. The reason why there are so many great marathons out there with so much support, great courses and "swag" is because the rest of us are paying YOUR way. Then he went on to say that anyone can run a 6 hour marathon.
This kind of attitude makes me so mad, I can't stand it. I hear it in triathlon stores, I hear it in running stores, I read it in magazines and online.
Maybe it makes these people to feel more special if they think that my accomplishment isn't as great as theirs. I will admit, I have no idea what it would be like to run a 3:30 marathon, I have no idea what it would be like to finish an Ironman in 12 hours. No idea. But I can all say for sure that these folks have NO IDEA what it took for me to get to the start line, much less the finish line. What does it matter to anyone if I get a tattoo or put a sticker on my car...like it somehow lessens their accomplishment.
When will people realize that you don't have to put someone else down to raise yourself up. While I believe that anyone could train for an Ironman....most people won't. "Can" and "Do" are two different things.
Oh and here's another tip...chances are, you were born with the ability to run faster than me. Your 3:30 marathon time is my 5:00 marathon time. I put in the time, I train. Could I go faster, probably...THAT Much faster...probably not. So how about you just say "good job" as you blow past me. If that is too tough, than don't say anything. I've heard enough out of you already.
And finally. I am going to get an Ironman tattoo and I am going to wear my Ironman finisher's shirt, with my Ironman jacket and my Ironman visor while I drive in my car with my Ironman license plate frame and my 140.6 sticker and there will be a picture of me doing Ironman in every room of my house, on every page of my facebook and as my profile picture on my blog.
When I finished, they said the same thing to me that they said to you "You are an Ironman". Sorry if that pisses you off. It thrills me.