As I mentioned on Friday, Mario Marathon was over this weekend. And as silly as it sounds, it’s actually pretty fun to watch. And I think it’s largely because as the marathon progresses and people are sleeping less and less that it becomes more and more entertaining.

Mario Marathon 5 ran from Friday morning until Tuesday night.  Over 4 days they managed to raise over $111,000 for Child’s Play Charity. That’s quite the impressive sum and a sum that I have yet to see duplicated by any other marathon.

I wish I could explain the why of Mario Marathon being so popular. Maybe it’s just the right combination of elements. Super Mario Bros. is still immensely popular, a well-decorated backdrop and friendly and cheerful people both playing the games. I think it also helps that the genuinely want to engage the people watching. They want people to feel as though they are a part of the marathon. While I’ve been watching since 2008 (the first marathon), I’m not one of the people they recognize over and over.  You might say that I’m the ninja of the marathon. Somehow I manage to fly just below the radar (much like I have with the local Goth community). So, there is a group of viewers who are better known than others. That’s just the way it goes. I’m sure if I were to make myself more known I could be the same. I just don’t put myself out there like that.

I must say, it’s incredibly amazing how popular this marathon is.

And when I start watching, I get engrossed. I keep watching until it’s over. It’s just so much fun to watch. So, I keep watching and watching. I watch through the fun times and through the early morning frustration where they just want to give up. After the end of each marathon we’re left with a huge question mark. Will they be back or won’t they?

At this point, after some good sleep and reflection, they will make their decision.  In the meantime, I have some pleasant memories of chatting with people who I would never get the opportunity to meet and sharing an experience. Something that I haven’t been capable of doing since the last time I went to Burning Man.

Here’s to hoping that there another marathon next year.