A marathon is a race that involves contestants running a total of forty two point one nine five kilometers on road. The winner of such an event is the contestant who gets to the finish first. The times took in completion of the track get recorded, and athletes get a chance to beat each other’s records, making the tracks exciting.
The event started out as a way to honor Pheidippides. The story goes that long ago before we discovered hundreds of ways to relay messages, we had the options to send birds with notes or to transmit the information through messengers. One sure way to get your message across was by delivering it yourself. Pheidippides was a soldier during these ancient times, and when the Battle that took place at Marathon was over, they were victorious. He took it upon himself to alert his people, running all the way to Athens. Once he got there, he delivered the news before collapsing from exhaustion and dying. This fable forms the basis for this race to this day.
In 1896, the marathon took place in the Olympics, and it became a standard sport in 1921. Each year, hundreds of such races get held all over the world. You will find that a track has hundreds or even thousands of attendees. A large number of people involved is because most of the people there are looking to have fun rather than win a prize.
Michel Breal wished to have the event featured in the Olympics. This concept got well received by the organizers of the tournament who felt that it would be a great addition to what they had. As such, they decided to stage a race where they would choose the best athletes who would then take part in the main event in the Olympics. The race got won with a time of three hours and eighteen minutes. This period was used to gauge other athletes who wished to take part in the race.
The first winner of the event was a Greek who took a time of two hours fifty-eight minutes and fifty seconds, thus breaking the qualification standards. This win was on tenth April 1896. In 2004, the Olympic route followed a track that started at Marathon and came to an end at Athens. This time, the completion time was two hours ten minutes and fifty-five seconds for the men, a record which got beat ten years later with an athlete finishing the race in two hours ten minutes and thirty-seven seconds.
Women joined the race in 1984 during the summer Olympics in Los Angeles where the first race got won by Joan Benoit who finished the race in two hours twenty-four minutes and fifty-two seconds. Over time, a tradition has gotten set that the man’s lap gets held on the final day of the games. As such, the awards for the race get awarded during the closing ceremony. As at now, the men’s record stands at 2:06:32 while that of women is 2:23:07.
Previous female winners include Catherine Ndereba, Tiki Gelana, and Paula Radcliffe while for the men we have Dennis Kipruto, Eliud Kipchoge, and Guye Adola.
This race is one of the most anticipated events in the Olympics as many people turn up to see whether yet another record will get broken.