The History of the Marathon...


Legend Has It

The story of the marathon race dates back to 490 B.C. in Greece. The Greeks, at war with the Persians, won the final battle which took place in the town of Marathon, Greece. In order to spread the word of the victory, a soldier who was also a runner took off on foot to Athens. His name was Pheidippides and his mission was ambitious. After covering the 24.8 miles to Athens he allegedly announced the victory of the Greeks before collapsing to his death. Although the story is probably a myth, the distance the news had to travel is accurate.

Why 26.2?

As you probably know by now, a marathon is 26.2 miles. If you're a thinker in addition to being a runner, then you're probably wondering why an extra 2.2 miles was added to a distance that supposedly killed a tremendous greek athlete. At the 1908 Olympics, the extra mileage was added so that the finish line would be in front of the royal family's viewing box. At the 1924 Olympics the distance of 26.2 miles was decided as the official race length.

Runners Posing

The Marathon Today

For about 30 yars now, the popularity of the marathon has been steadily increasing. All different types of runners with different skill levels have stepped up to the challenge. There are plenty of marathons that take place all over the country. Search for a one near you (or enter one some place you've been wanting to visit)!