The Marathon

The Marathon is the longest running event with a total of 42.195 kilometers. It is the ultimate test of a runner’s stamina, strength, perseverance and endurance.

Its history goes way back in 490 BC, the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger who ran this distance from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians have lost the Battle of Marathon.  The story states that he ran this distance all the way, non-stop and died after he announced their victory.  Pheidippides also fought in this battle.

Because running and completing a marathon is a grueling journey, any one planning to embark on this must be fully committed to it for it involves months of training.  For 16 weeks or so, the runner must make training a priority;  the dedication and perseverance is key to a successful finish.  In fact, it is the challenge as well as the difficulty in crossing the finish line that have attracted runners to pursue this and for the elite runners, to attain a new personal best.

Over the years, the marathon has gained popularity and continues to do so.  Some famous personalities have done this; to name a few are Pres. George Bush (3:44:52, Houston Marathon), P. Diddy Combs (4:14:54 NYC Marathon), Oprah Winfrey (4:29:20, Marine Corps Marathon), Katie Holmes (5:29:58, NYC Marathon).

There are more than 500 marathons organized worldwide each year.  Five of the largest and most esteemed races are the Boston, New York City, Chicago, London and Berlin marathons.  Other noteworthy races are the Amsterdam, Paris, Rotterdam and Stockholm.  The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon.

It must also be said that having a full medical check up would be a wise move to do prior to undertaking an exercise routine in preparation for the marathon.

Below is a table showing the fastest times ran by both genders at different races.

Table courtesy of Wikipedia


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