MARATHON

Six things you do not know about the marathon and you should know

The marathon continues to grow every day; more runners are encouraged to try to run the 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers).

If you are training for a marathon, we will share the six things you do not know about the marathon and you should know.

1.-The first marathoner

The myth says that the name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger, who had been sent from Marathon to Athens to announce the victory of his army against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon (490 A.C.).

The distance between Marathon and Athens, is approximately 40 kilometers and this messenger had to cross it quickly, because if he do not arrive on time, the Athenians were going to burn the city and kill the children with the belief that he had been defeated in the Battle.

It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming “nenikekamen”(“we have wοn”), before collapsing and dying.

However, although the legend is beautiful, there are some debates about the accuracy of these facts, since records exist that Pheidippides would have run before the Battle of Marathon, from Athens to Sparta (approx. 240 km) to call for reinforcements and then returned.

2.- The first Olympic marathon

The first Olympic marathon was held on 10 April 1896 and its winner was Spiridon Louis, a Greek who ran from the plain of Marathon to Athens Olympic Stadium (40 kilometers) in 2:58:50.

3. The reason for the 42,195 meters

Until 1908 at the Olympic Games in London, the official distance varied over the years depending on the circuit that was used.

Thus, for the race could start at Windsor Castle (to the Queen could watch the start) and end at the Olympic Stadium, organizers were forced to extend the distance to strangers 42,195 meters (26.2 miles)

Finally, in 1921 the International Association of Athletics Federations set definitively that the marathon would be 42,195 meters or 26.2 miles.

4. The men’s world record

The first world record in men’s marathon, dates from 1908 and it was won by Johnny Hayes, an American runner with a time of 2: 55: 18.4 (almost 3 hours). The current world record, belongs to the Kenyan,  Dennis Kimetto who ran the 2014 Berlin Marathon in 2:02:57 (coming closer to overcome the barrier of 2 hours).

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5. The female record

On the female side, the evolution has been even more significant (although the record has owned for many years). Thus, the first women’s record belonged to a British named Violet Piercy who in 1926 ran the 42k in 3:40:22.

Now it indicates that since April 2003, Paula Radcliffe holds the marathon world record with a time of 2:15:25.

6. The most popular

In less than 40 years, the New York City Marathon has grown from a race in Central Park with 55 finalists to be the largest and most popular marathon in the world, with about 50,000 runners in 2015.

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