“Many people take on these events because they want to challenge themselves,” says Justin Anderson, Psy.D., LP, at Premier Sport Psychology in Minnesota, a mental skills training and counseling organization that works with amateur and professional athletes. “It’s been my experience that many marathon runners have an internal drive to grow and do more. Combine that drive with the fact that many professionals (in their) mid-20s to mid-50s are ‘stuck’ in their daily routines or careers and are not getting that psychological need for growth met,” says Anderson.

Read more: The Start of Something Big – Inlander