Imagine running through a dewy forest with a group of strangers, who provide you with more to look at then their mud-spattered backsides.
The Marathon of Life begins before, much before, the start of the race.
It starts before the entrant is born. Here, at this stage, photographs and videos are
collected. As is normal, this will happen throughout their life.
Some time prior to the start of the race, entrants put together a feature length video, the running time of which is based on their currently estimated -- running time. There is no required audio; just video and stills. The editing software is provided.
The videos are of course vetted by officials to ensure the representation of their life is reasonable (i.e. they are not an android come back in time to protect the future leader of the rebellion, although honestly vetting may be flexible in this particular example).
The entrance fees are minimal; the event is primarily funded through sponsors, and online and television ads.
There is only a minimal entry fee to pick up what the primary ad support cannot realize.
Each entrant recieves in their race bag a flexibe LCD screen about the size of a marathon number plate. However, this goes on their back, not their front.
This is switched on automatically when the racer crosses the start line. The video starts with the birth and childhood of the runner, and advances through time, an exposition of trials, discoveries and victories, until the present day.
Everyone in the race can therefore follow their favorite racer. In normal marathons, you run alongside peculiar looking people, and never get a chance to learn much about them. Now, you can hang out behind them and see how they coped with high school. If they have a boring life, you can chase down someone else and watch that instead.
However; while you are watching other people; other people are watching you... and two to four hours later, you will all have quite a lot to talk about when you cross that finish line and celebrate with beers and bananas, and everyone will not only know more about their funny looking temporary friends, but have been pleasantly entertained for as long as a typical epic feature film.