A marathoner’s prejudice against bad weather (#151)

I have a fellow-runner friend who runs the Mumbai Marathon. The race takes place on the third Sunday of January each year. Coincidentally, in this zone of the world, that is the last bit of winter we get to experience each season.

My friend thinks that it’s all—literally—cool until the race but just on the day of the marathon it gets scorching hot (if you don’t know about running, it’s not a fun thing to run 26.2 miles under a burning hot sun for most runners).

So, implicitly he states that the marathon brings in the hot weather. But that’s a bad explanation for this phenomena (even though he says it for fun and doesn’t really believe in Marathon Powers). Why is it a bad explanation?

If there wasn’t a marathon that day, the weather may almost certainly have still been hot. So it’s an easy to vary explanation that makes it so.

On top of that my friend may be biased in his judgment of the true weather. Maybe he only felt the force of the sun on marathon day because he was out running a relatively very long distance. Perhaps, he didn’t run or exhaust himself by running so much before race day and was having easy runs so he couldn’t take proper note of what the weather felt like then (availability bias).

There may be other reasons too for it’s failure to be a good explanation but we won’t get into them here.

The point is: it’s easy to form explanations and opinions from associating two (or more) things that are in no way related. It’s easy to say god / luck / chance / “the marathon” did it than say I don’t have an explanation for what made the laws in the Universe do that but I could find out.

Choosing the easy path may get us the humanly satisfaction to be able to arrive at a conclusion but not the truth.

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