Marathon- it refers to the long distance race I that covers a length of 26 miles and 385 yards. ‘The word marathon is of Greek origin, which refers to the place called Marathon in Greece. The marathon is intimated as an honor to the ‘Greek soldier, Pheldippides, who ran from Marathon to Athens to announce their victory over Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
Pheidippides, Battle of Marathon:
Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC. This is the first Persian invasion against Greece. This is was the culmination that Persian to subjugate Greece. But the great Greece army fought against Persian army and finally won the battle. One of the soldiers of Greece named Pheidippides, made his way to Athens to tell about their victory against Persian. On his way to Athens, he ran the entire distance, without stopping, finally, he burst into the assembly telling “we have won“. After telling those words he got collapsed and died.
This account of run from Marathon to Athens was first given in the record of Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, a greek biographer, and essayist. On Glory ofAthens in 1st century AD. Here the name of the runner is given either as Thersipus of Erchius or Eucleus. Also, Lucian of Samosata, who was a rhetorician and satirist, gives the story of the running but gave the name of the runner as Pheidippides.
Herodotus, father of history, in one of his manuscripts, that Pheidippides was a greek messenger who ran from Athens to Sparta for seeking help for a distance of about 240 kilometers and ran back the same way but he did not tell anything about his running from Marathon to Athens.
Marathon in Olympics:
Olympics was started in the year 1896 and the initiators and organizers and the founder Pierre de Coubertin supported the great event Marathon. Many greeks took part in this Marathon event. The main Marathon route was Marathon-Athen Highway when the Olympics had started. The Olympics Marathon selection took place on 10 March 1896, and this was won by Charilaos Vasilakos in 3 hours 18 minutes. The first Olympic marathon took place in on 10 April 1896 (a male-only race), was Spyridon Louis, a Greek water-carrier, in 2 hours 58 minutes and 50 seconds. The marathon of 2004 summer run was run on the traditional route from Marathon to Athens ending at Panathinaiko stadium, the venue for the 1896 Summer Olympics. That men’s marathon was won by Italian Stefano Baldini 2 hours 10 minutes and 55 seconds, a record time for this route until the non-Olympics Athens classic Marathon of 2014 when Felix Kandie lowered the course record to 2 hours 10 minutes and 37 seconds.
Then the women’s marathon was introduced at 1984 summer Olympics took place in Los Angeles was won by Joan Benoit of the USA in 2 hrs 24 minutes and 52 seconds. Initially the marathon start and ends at the stadium but in 2016 Rio Olympics as well as in 2012 London Olympics the start and end of the marathon were the parade area that serves as the spectator mall of Carnival and The Mall respectively.The Olympic men’s record is 2:06:32, set at the 2008 Summer Olympics by Samuel Kamau Wanjiru of Kenya (average speed about 20.01 kilometers per hour or 12.43 miles per hour). The Olympic women’s record is 2:23:07, set at the 2012 Summer Olympics by Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia.
At the beginning, distance the Marathon has not set to a fixed length but roughly it was set to 40 kilometers. But the exact length depends upon the route set by the venue. The International Olympic Committee had set a distance of 25 miles as the distance of the marathon in 1908 Olympics. But it them became as 26 miles starting from Windsor castle to the White city stadium followed by a lap covering a distance of 536 meters finishing in front of the Royal box. Later an alternate entry to the stadium had been with a partial lap of distance 385 yards.
In May 1921 IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation) has standardized the distance to 42. 195 kilometers.
Annually, there more than 500 marathon races that were held all over the world. Some of them were conducted by AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races). In 2006, the editors took a report on the “World top 10 Marathons” this included many marathons. The Boston marathon was the oldest annual marathon that was inspired by the success of the success of the 1896 Olympics and since 1897 as a remembrance of the Patriot’s Day.
The intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon is the only marathon where the participants run over two continents (Europe and Asia ). In The Detroit free Press Marathon, the participants cross the US or Canada border twice. The Niagara falls International marathon the participants cross-border once.
The marathon also features the wheelchair racing. Here the wheelchair racing participants start their race before their counterparts. The first wheelchair race started at the year 1974 of toledo won by Bob Hall in 2:54. In 1975, the same person competed in Boston Marathon and introduced the wheelchair racing in Boston. The New York city Marathon initially banned the wheelchair racing for safety measures, then the rule passed in the year 1979 had stated that the New York city Marathon and the New York Road Runners club to allow wheelchair racing.
As marathon has become more popular some athletes have undertaken many challenging events such as running a series of marathons and so on. The 100 Marathon club is the one that is focussing on the runners in the marathon who had completed more than 100 or more races. This mainly involves the marathons from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Some runners will compete in the same marathon many times.