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History, Types and Some Important Facts of the World Famous Marathon Race

History, Types and Some Important Facts of the World Famous Marathon Race

The marathon, a long-distance running competition, was first held in the revival of the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. In 1924 the Olympic marathon distance was standardized at 42,195 meters (26 mi 385 yards). This was based on the British Olympic Committee’s decision to start the 1908 Olympic race from Windsor Castle and finish it in front of the Royal Box at the Stadium in London. The marathon was added to the women’s Olympic program in 1984.

After the championship of the Olympic Games, one of the most prestigious honors in marathon running is the Boston Marathon, held annually since 1897. It attracts athletes from all parts of the world and in 1972 became the first major marathon to officially allow women to compete.

Marathons are usually run as a road race. The official distance of this race is 42.195 kilometers (26 miles and 385 yards). Other premier marathons are held in London, Chicago, Berlin, New York City, Tokyo and Amsterdam. Marathons are not held on the track, but on the roads.

The International Association of Athletics Federations also lists world records for the marathon and for the half-marathon. Throughout the 20th century the world-record time in the marathon has steadily increased from a little less than three hours to a little over two hours.

History of Marathon

The event is named after a 26-mile race run by a Greek soldier named Philippids from the scene of the Battle of Marathon to Athens, where he declared the defeat of the invading Persians. His mission accomplished, he died of exhaustion immediately after walking 150 miles behind Sparta the day before.

The organizers of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 created a marathon race of over 40 km to celebrate the achievements of ancient Greece.

Later, at the 1908 Olympic Games in London, this distance was increased to an imperial measurement of 26 miles and increased to 385 yards. The starting line was then pulled back so that it could be visited by children at the Royal Nursery in Windsor. This distance was standardized in 1921 at 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) in front of Queen Alexandra at White City Stadium in west London. The first women’s Olympic marathon took place at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

One of the greatest marathon runners of all time, Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia became the first black African to win Olympic gold by winning the marathon in a world record time at the 1960 Rome Games. After 4 years he became the first person in history to successfully defend the title. Joan Benoit of America created history by winning the inaugural women’s marathon title at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Types of Marathon

There are mainly three types of marathons – half marathon, marathon, ultra marathon. Apart from these 10k and stage running (multi-day event) is also included in the marathon.

Half Marathon

With the continued growth of recreational running in the 1950s, race organizers offered alternatives to the standard marathon distance, and so the half marathon was born. The running distance in a half marathon is approximately 21.1 km (13.1 mi).

Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea is a five-time World Half Marathon Champion and Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya holds a hat-trick of World Half Marathon titles from 2014 to 2018. Kenya and Ethiopia have also been the frontrunners in the women’s half marathon race. Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir is the current world half marathon champion, achieving the feat in the women’s only world record time of 1:05:16.


The running distance of a marathon is approximately 26.2 miles / 42.2 kilometers.


An ultramarathon is any race beyond the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles (or 42.2k). The most common ultra distances are 50k, 100k, 50 miles or 100 miles, but each event is unique in terms of distance and terrain.

Ultramarathons are any distance walk/run above a 42-kilometre (26.2 mi) marathon. Although these events are usually set up for runners, if they can meet the required time cutoff, then walkers. (Walker) is welcomed. Participants can usually take breaks during the entire event to eat, rest or refresh themselves.

10K Run

The 10k race is a ten kilometer long-distance road race competition. Also known as a 10K road race, 10km or simply 10K, it is one of the most common types of road running event, along with the 5K and longer half marathons and marathons.

Stage Race

A stage race is a foot race that takes place over more than one day. The race usually covers between two and six stages. Given that there are many stage races with different formats and elements, this is a wide area to try and classify.