Why Are Marathons 26.2 Miles Long? - Deepstash
Why Are Marathons 26.2 Miles Long?

Why Are Marathons 26.2 Miles Long?

Curated from: livescience.com

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The first marathon

The first marathon

The first marathon was held at the 1896 Olympics in Athens to commemorate the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield near the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C.

According to legend, Pheidippides ran approximately 25 miles to announce the Athenians' victory over the Persians. After he delivered the victory message, he keeled over and died.

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History of marathons

  • The first official Olympic race started at the Marathon Bridge and ended at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, a distance of about 24.85 miles. Of the 25 entrants, only 9 runners finished.
  • After 1896, in the next few Olympic marathons, it was decided that as long as the runners ran the same course, there was no need to keep the distance exactly the same.
  • From the 1908 London Olympics, the course was laid out from Windsor Castle to White City stadium. To put the finish line in front of the royal family's viewing box, an extra 385 yards was added.
  • It took 13 years of arguing before the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) adopted the 1908 distance as the official marathon.

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