A lot of us run. Many of us run distance races. Many of us have done at least one marathon In the past or at least dream of one in our future. Some of us have even done multiple marathons while still others have competed in multisport in the form of an IronMan. But really,how many of us know where the distances for these races we compete in originally came from? Why are they what they are today?
Oh sure, a few quick clicks around the web and you can get those questions answered Can't you? Hey, better yet, you can just keep reading and I will answer some of them for you! Hurray!
Lets start with the marathon Today. First off, why "Marathon" ? Well, as the legend goes, a Greek messenger by the name of Pheidippides was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce the victory over the Persians in the just fought Battle of Marathon. It is believed that he ran the entire distance without stopping, burst into the assembly proclaiming victory, then collapsed & died!
The length of the marathon was originally not precise. Marathons in the first few Olympic Games were about 25 miles or 40K.
In 1908 the IOC changed the distance to change the course to 26 miles for the London games to allow for a marathon from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium & a lap of the track so the runners would Finish in front of the Royal Box. The 26.2 distance became standard in May of 1921 by the International Amatuer Athletic Federation in direct result of the 1908 Summer Olimpics in London. Who, besides me, thinks it should have been called a Pheidippides? No one!? Ok fine! "Marathon" it shall stay...
I suppose this brings us to the famous M-Dot. The Iron Man! Do you know its humble beginnings? No? Then I'll save that one for another post sometime soon!
Guess you will just have keep checking back,won't you. :)