Who said that running is not an intellectual pursuit ? There are all kinds of unanswered philosophic questions relating to running - and a billion attempts to answer them
Here is just one an interesting answer to the above ( not mine -- but it makes a lot of sense to me)
"Quite obviously we weren't sprinters, because frankly, humans suck at sprinting. Even squirrels outrun us on short distances, let alone true sprinters like gazelle, cheetah etc. Also, we're way too clumsy and noisy to rely on sprinting for survival or hunting. We do have energy systems and muscles for short powerful bursts, which suggests this mode of operation isn't entirely useless to us.
Distance running, however, is something that few animals can beat us at. Only dogs and horses run faster marathons than humans, and both species share a powerful feat with humans for this, namely a good cooling system that prevents overheating - dogs can pant, horses and humans can sweat.
But the endurance running hypothesis doesn't suggest marathon-style running at all, because that's not how persistence hunting works. It's not "find a suitable prey and run after it at a constant pace for three hours", it's "find a suitable prey, run after it to make it flee, let it escape, track it down, repeat for several hours". From my own experience I know that this mode of operation - a mixture of easy jogging and walking, with a few slightly faster bursts and a final sprint to "make the kill" is much easier to maintain than extended periods of constant-paced running."
The above sounds like "How to run a long distance race 101" to me - or course, the term "long distance" is relative