SFH #132: A Short History of the Marathon

A Tuesday tidbit 🔸

As I'm in full-tilt boogie to get down to Miami these next few days, I thought it might be a good time to introduce: A Tuesday Tidbit.

Here's your first.

In honor of the Olympics and my background in endurance, I'd like to share some history around the marathon!

It was initially launched during the Modern Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens, a race from Marathon northeast of Athens to the Olympic Stadium, 40 kilometers. The game's organizers were looking for a prominent event, recalling the glory of ancient Greece.

The origins of this ancient race memorialize the run of Pheidippides, an essential character in Greek history who carried the news of the Persian landing at Marathon of 490 B.C. to Sparta (149 miles) to either validate the news of the Persian defeat or secure relief for further battle (history accounts are mixed).

The contemporary marathon distance was instituted as 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) in the 1908 London Olympic Games. The exact measurement between Windsor Castle, the start of the race, and the finish line inside White City Stadium. 

Currently, more than 800 marathons are held around the world each year, inviting many enthusiastic recreational athletes to celebrate this grand physiological endeavor.

Here's to those of you who have crossed a marathon finish line or two or twenty-seven. 🍻😉