"Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man" is one of the better episodes from the first season of 'Monk'. A racer Monk admires, Tillie, becomes the target suspect in a murder that occurred during his track run, and Monk has to clear his name. The only annoying thing that happens is when Monk shakes hands with a paranoid black man, who misinterprets Adrian's fear of germs as some racist statement. "You don't want to shake your brother's hand, you just say so!", and "I saw what I saw!", yeah, yeah, yeah. Enter the social roadblocks Monk encounters on his journey.
Still more introduction involved, as it shows that even Adrian Monk has people he looks up to, and Tillie's closing statement at the end "Life is a big race... you must hold on. Hold on to it" turn out to be words of wisdom that Monk takes away from this particular case.
In running terms, the 'Monk' series is picking up the pace... little by little.