Sitcom Episodes With Characters Who Participate In Marathons

Sitcom Episodes With Characters Who Participate In Marathons
By Doug Poe

Holidays, as joyous as they may be overall, are too often the worst days for television addicts like me. Outside of parades, meaningless sports events, and movies centered around the theme of the occasion, there is little of interest to watch.

Fortunately, one of my favorite cable channels airs a marathon of one of the old time classic shows from my childhood. For twenty four hours I can catch back to back episodes of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, including Burgess Meredith in “World Enough And Time” and Billy Mummy in “It’s A Good Life.”

Other stations sometimes show continuous episodes of particular series, thereby giving credence to the term TV marathons. However, the literal running event, usually consisting of at least several miles, has seldom been used in the plots of TV shows.

Here are six of the sitcoms that have included episodes centered around a marathon, most of which involves a regular character undertaking the task of running a great distance.

The Office

The Dundee-Mifflin Paper Company’s regional office manager Michael Scott (played by Steve Carrel) signs his eccentric employees up for the Scranton, Pennsylvania marathon, and each one ends up with unique experiences as the race progresses.

King of Queens

In the “Big Dougie” episode, Doug (played by Kevin James) volunteers in the Big Brother program and tries to impress his young protege, even to the point of running a 10k marathon.

How I Met Your Mother

Ted (played by Josh Radnor) recalls the time he trained for the New York City Marathon, a memory that also involves a variety of side stories.


While the main characters do not actually run in the marathon, Jerry (played by Jerry Seinfeld) and Elaine (played by Julia Louis Dreyfus) do compete to see which is the better choice to deliver the all important wake up call for a friend who is a favorite to win.

The League

Andre (played by Paul Scheer) and Pete (played by Mark Duplass) train for a race in an episode appropriately titled “The Marathon” on this FX sitcom.

Modern Family

In a show called “Run For Your Wife” Phil (played by Ty Burrel challenges Claire (played by Julie Bowen) to compete with him in a marathon, believing that they need a hobby to cope with their recent empty nest. Claire lets him win, but while celebrating Phil is struck by daughter Haley in the driver’s Ed car.

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