Centuries ago, in the fabled lands of ancient Greece, at a time of war, a young messenger by the name Philippides ran nonstop from the battle of Marathon to the city of Athens to announce their victory over the Persians. The poor soul died shortly after delivering the message, and so humanity decided to honour his historic 26 mile run by creating ‘The Marathon’, definable as a race strictly covering 26 miles.

A History Of The Marathon

The first Olympic marathon was also the flagship event of the first Olympics ever, the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece, and was won by Spyridon Louis. However, the first few races, until 1921, did not have a fixed distance but were roughly estimated to be 40 Kilometers long. The first woman to complete a long-distance race was Marie-Louise Ledru in 1918, and the first wheelchair race was held in 1974 in Toledo and was won by a Bob Hall.

A Female Marathon In Progress

As of October 2017, the world record time in a marathon is 2 hours 2 minutes and 57 seconds, set by the Kenyan Dennis Kipruto Kimetto. The females’ record time is 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds set by the British Paula Radcliffe. A quick perusal through a list of best marathon times ever recorded will show you the dominance of Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes in the international marathon games.

The Marathon Process And Concerns

A marathon can be divided into three stages: Training ( which involves healthy dieting and daily aerobic and running exercises). The marathon race (Tip; Avoid running too fast at the beginning of the race as you may run out of energy mid-race, phenomena called “hitting the wall”) and the post-marathon (consume carbohydrates, proteins and water to replenish lost body nutrients). Individuals with a history of high cholesterol or diabetes should check with their doctor first before participating in a marathon. Also, make sure you hydrate regularly, but don’t over-consume water as it may lead to an imbalance of sodium concentration in the body which may result in seizures or even death.

The Marathon – Greatest Sporting Event Ever

Did Philippides know that by running those 42 kilometres he would be known as the father of the modern-day marathon? He probably didn’t. But that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our races. The marathon is iconic, a great event that brings people of all countries, from Kenya to Australia, together. However, marathon runners should consider their health and fitness status before running, as the endurance levels required to run 42 kilometres are high.