Marathon
Overview
 
The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres (26 miles and 385 yards), that is usually run as a road race
Road running
Road running is the sport of running on a measured course over an established road . These events would be classified as long distance according to athletics terminology, with distances typically ranging from 5 kilometers to 42.2 kilometers in the marathon. They may involve large numbers of runners...

. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 soldier Pheidippides
Pheidippides
Pheidippides , hero of Ancient Greece, is the central figure in a story which was the inspiration for a modern sporting event, the marathon.-The story:...

, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon
Battle of Marathon
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. It was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate...

 (the namesake of the race) to Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

.

The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921.
Encyclopedia
The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres (26 miles and 385 yards), that is usually run as a road race
Road running
Road running is the sport of running on a measured course over an established road . These events would be classified as long distance according to athletics terminology, with distances typically ranging from 5 kilometers to 42.2 kilometers in the marathon. They may involve large numbers of runners...

. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 soldier Pheidippides
Pheidippides
Pheidippides , hero of Ancient Greece, is the central figure in a story which was the inspiration for a modern sporting event, the marathon.-The story:...

, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon
Battle of Marathon
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. It was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate...

 (the namesake of the race) to Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

.

The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 500 marathons are contested throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes. Larger marathons can have tens of thousands of participants.

Origin

The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides
Pheidippides
Pheidippides , hero of Ancient Greece, is the central figure in a story which was the inspiration for a modern sporting event, the marathon.-The story:...

, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon
Marathon, Greece
Marathon is a town in Greece, the site of the battle of Marathon in 490 BC, in which the heavily outnumbered Athenian army defeated the Persians. The tumulus or burial mound for the 192 Athenian dead that was erected near the battlefield remains a feature of the coastal plain...

 to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon
Battle of Marathon
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. It was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate...

 (in which he had just fought), which took place in August or September, 490 BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming "" (Nenikékamen, 'We have won.') before collapsing and dying. The account of the run from Marathon to Athens first appears in Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

's On the Glory of Athens in the 1st century AD which quotes from Heraclides Ponticus
Heraclides Ponticus
Heraclides Ponticus , also known as Herakleides and Heraklides of Pontus, was a Greek philosopher and astronomer who lived and died at Heraclea Pontica, now Karadeniz Ereğli, Turkey. He is best remembered for proposing that the earth rotates on its axis, from west to east, once every 24 hours...

's lost work, giving the runner's name as either Thersipus of Erchius or Eucles. Lucian of Samosata (2nd century AD) also gives the story but names the runner Philippides (not Pheidippides).

There is debate about the historical accuracy of this legend. The Greek historian Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, the main source for the Greco-Persian Wars
Greco-Persian Wars
The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and city-states of the Hellenic world that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus...

, mentions Pheidippides as the messenger who ran from Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 to Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

 asking for help, and then ran back, a distance of over 240 kilometres (149.1 mi) each way. In some Herodotus manuscripts the name of the runner between Athens and Sparta is given as Philippides. Herodotus makes no mention of a messenger sent from Marathon to Athens, and relates that the main part of the Athenian army, having already fought and won the grueling battle, and fearing a naval raid by the Persian fleet against an undefended Athens, marched quickly back from the battle to Athens, arriving the same day.

In 1879, Robert Browning
Robert Browning
Robert Browning was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.-Early years:...

 wrote the poem Pheidippides. Browning's poem, his composite story, became part of late-19th century popular culture and was accepted as a historic legend.

Mount Penteli stands between Marathon and Athens, which means that, if Pheidippides
Pheidippides
Pheidippides , hero of Ancient Greece, is the central figure in a story which was the inspiration for a modern sporting event, the marathon.-The story:...

 actually made his famous run after the battle, he had to run around the mountain, either from the north or from the south. The latter and more obvious route matches almost exactly the modern Marathon-Athens highway, which follows the lay of the land southwards from Marathon Bay and along the coast, then a gentle but protracted uphill westwards towards the eastern approach to Athens, between the foothills of Mounts Hymettus
Hymettus
Hymettus, also Hymettos is a mountain range in the Athens area, East Central Greece. It is also colloquially known as Trellos or Trellovouno , a name of uncertain origin...

 and Penteli
Penteli
Pentéli or Pendeli, , and Vrilissos or Vrilittos , Mendeli in medieval times) is a tall mountain and mountain range situated northeast of Athens and southwest of Marathon. Its elevation is 1,109 m...

, and then mildly downhill to Athens proper. This route, as it existed when the Olympics were revived in 1896, was approximately 40 kilometres (24.9 mi), but was later extended to the current standard marathon distance of 42.195 kilometres (26 miles 385 yards, approximately 26.22 miles). However there have been suggestions that Pheidippides might have followed another route: a westward climb along the eastern and northern slopes of Mount Penteli to the pass of Dionysos
Dionysos, Greece
Dionysos is a residential suburb and a municipality in northeastern Attica, Greece — just about 23 km northeast of Athens. The seat of the municipality is the town Agios Stefanos. Dionysos is almost purely residential, but there are a few shops....

, and then a straight southward downhill path to Athens. This route is considerably shorter, some 35 kilometres (21.7 mi), but features a very steep initial climb of more than 5 kilometres (3.1 mi).

Modern Olympics marathon

When the idea of a modern Olympics became a reality at the end of the 19th century, the initiators and organizers were looking for a great popularizing event, recalling the ancient glory of Greece. The idea of organizing a marathon race came from Michel Bréal
Michel Bréal
"Breal" redirects here. For the Rapper see B-RealMichel Jules Alfred Bréal , French philologist, was born at Landau in Rhenish Bavaria. He is often identified as a founder of modern semantics....

, who wanted the event to feature in the first modern Olympic Games
1896 Summer Olympics
The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was a multi-sport event celebrated in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to April 15, 1896. It was the first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era...

 in 1896 in Athens. This idea was heavily supported by Pierre de Coubertin
Pierre de Coubertin
Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin was a French educationalist and historian, founder of the International Olympic Committee, and is considered the father of the modern Olympic Games...

, the founder of the modern Olympics, as well as the Greeks. The Greeks staged a selection race for the Olympic marathon on 10 March 1896 that was won by Charilaos Vasilakos in 3 hours and 18 minutes (with the future winner of the introductory Olympic Games marathon coming in fifth). The winner of the first Olympic Marathon, on 10 April 1896 (a male-only race), was Spyridon "Spyros" Louis, a Greek water-carrier. He won at the Olympics in 2 hours 58 minutes and 50 seconds.

The women's marathon was introduced at the 1984 Summer Olympics
1984 Summer Olympics
The 1984 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Los Angeles, California, United States in 1984...

 (Los Angeles, USA) and was won by Joan Benoit
Joan Benoit
Joan Benoit Samuelson is an American marathon runner, who won gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the year that the women's marathon was introduced. As a result she was the first ever women's Olympic marathon champion. Benoit Samuelson still holds the fastest times for an American...

 of the United States with a time of 2 hours 24 minutes and 52 seconds.

Since the modern games were founded, it has become a tradition for the men's Olympic marathon to be the last event of the athletics calendar, with a finish inside the Olympic stadium, often within hours of, or even incorporated into, the closing ceremonies. The marathon of the 2004 Summer Olympics
2004 Summer Olympics
The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece from August 13 to August 29, 2004 with the motto Welcome Home. 10,625 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team...

 revived the traditional route from Marathon
Marathon, Greece
Marathon is a town in Greece, the site of the battle of Marathon in 490 BC, in which the heavily outnumbered Athenian army defeated the Persians. The tumulus or burial mound for the 192 Athenian dead that was erected near the battlefield remains a feature of the coastal plain...

 to Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, ending at Panathinaiko Stadium
Panathinaiko Stadium
The Panathinaiko or Panathenaic Stadium , also known as the Kallimarmaro , is an athletic stadium in Athens that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896...

, the venue for the 1896 Summer Olympics.

The Olympic men's record is 2:06:32, set at the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

 by Samuel Kamau Wanjiru of Kenya. The Olympic women's record is 2:23:14, set at the 2000 Summer Olympics
2000 Summer Olympics
The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games or the Millennium Games/Games of the New Millennium, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

 by Naoko Takahashi
Naoko Takahashi
is a Japanese long-distance runner competing mainly in the marathon. She is widely known for her victory in the women's marathon at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, a performance that stands as the current Olympic record. At the 2001 Berlin Marathon, Takahashi became the first woman to break the 2...

 of Japan.

Marathon mania

Johnny Hayes
Johnny Hayes
John "Johnny" Joseph Hayes was an American athlete, a member of the Irish American Athletic Club, and winner of the marathon race at the 1908 Summer Olympics...

' victory at the 1908 Summer Olympics contributed to the early growth of long-distance running and marathoning in the United States. Later that year, races around the holiday season including the Empire City Marathon held on New Year's Day 1909 in Yonkers
Yonkers, New York
Yonkers is the fourth most populous city in the state of New York , and the most populous city in Westchester County, with a population of 195,976...

, New York, marked the early running craze referred to as "marathon mania". Following the 1908 Olympics, the first five amateur marathons in New York City were held on days that held special meanings to ethnic communities: Thanksgiving Day, the day after Christmas, New Year's Day, Washington's Birthday
Washington's Birthday
Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day...

, and Lincoln's Birthday
Lincoln's Birthday
Lincoln's Birthday is a legal holiday in some U.S. states including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Indiana. It is observed on the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth on February 12, 1809....

.

Frank Shorter
Frank Shorter
Frank Charles Shorter is a former American long-distance runner who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics. His victory is credited with igniting the running boom in the United States of the 1970s....

's victory in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics would spur national enthusiasm for the sport
Running boom of the 1970s
At the 1972 Summer Olympics, American long distance runner Frank Shorter won the 1972 Olympic Marathon. He was the third American to win the Olympic marathon, but the first event since 1908. The victory was covered by ABC, including dramatic coverage of the finish, when a German imposter ran into...

 more intense than that which followed Hayes' win 64 years earlier. By 2009, an estimated 467,000 runners completed a marathon within the United States. This can be compared to 143,000 in 1980. Nowadays, various marathons are held all around the world on a nearly weekly basis.

Inclusion of women

Long after the re-establishment of the marathon in the Olympics, distance races such as the marathon did not include female participants. Although a few women had run the marathon distance, they were not included in any official results. Marie-Louise Ledru
Marie-Louise Ledru
Marie-Louise Ledru was a French athlete who has been credited as the first woman to race the now-defined marathon distance of 42.195 km. On September 29, 1918, Ledru reportedly completed the Tour de Paris Marathon in a time of 5 hours and 40 minutes and finished in 38th place.The International...

 has been credited as the first woman to race a marathon. Violet Piercy
Violet Piercy
Violet Piercy was an English long-distance runner who is recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations as having set the first women's world best in the marathon on October 3, 1926 with a time of 3:40:22....

 has been credited as the first woman to be officially timed in a marathon. For challenging the long-held tradition of all-male marathon running in the Boston Marathon
Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts, on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897 and inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest...

, in 1967, Kathrine Switzer
Kathrine Switzer
Kathrine Switzer is the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. She entered and completed the race in 1967, five years before women were officially allowed to compete in it. Her finishing time of approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes was nearly an hour behind the first female...

 is regarded as the first woman to run a marathon as a numbered entry, but did so unofficially, due to a fluke in the entry process. Bobbi Gibb
Bobbi Gibb
Roberta Louise "Bobbi" Gibb is the first woman to have run the entire Boston Marathon . She is recognized by the Boston Athletic Association as the pre-sanctioned era women’s winner in 1966, 1967, and 1968...

 had completed the Boston race unofficially the previous year, and was later recognized by the race organizers
Boston Athletic Association
The Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit, organized sports association for the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It hosts such events as the world-renowned Boston Marathon....

 as the women’s winner for that year, as well as 1967 and 1968.

Distance


Olympic marathon distances
Year Distance
(km)
Distance
(miles)
1896 40 24.85
1900 40.26 25.02
1904 40 24.85
1906 41.86 26.01
1908 42.195 26.22
1912 40.2 24.98
1920 42.75 26.56
1924 onward 42.195 26.22


The length of a marathon was not fixed at first, since the only important factor was that all athletes competed on the same course. The marathon races in the first few Olympic Games were not of a set length, but were approximately 40 kilometres (24.9 mi), roughly the distance from Marathon to Athens by the longer, flatter route. The exact length of the Olympic marathon varied depending on the route established for each venue.

1908 Olympics

The standard distance for the marathon race was set by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) in May 1921 at a distance of 42.195 kilometres (26 miles 385 yards). Rule 240 of their Competition Rules specifies the metric version of this distance. This seemingly arbitrary distance was that adopted for the marathon at the 1908 Summer Olympics
1908 Summer Olympics
The 1908 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the IV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in 1908 in London, England, United Kingdom. These games were originally scheduled to be held in Rome. At the time they were the fifth modern Olympic games...

 in London. At a meeting of the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 in The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 in May 1907 it was agreed with the British Olympic Association
British Olympic Association
The British Olympic Association is the national Olympic committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It was formed in 1905 in the House of Commons, and at that time consisted of seven national governing body members from the following sports: fencing, life-saving, cycling, skating, rowing,...

 that the 1908 Olympics would include a marathon of about 25 miles or 40 kilometres. In November 1907 a route of about that distance was published in the newspapers, starting at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 and finishing at the Olympic Stadium, the Great White City Stadium
White City Stadium
White City Stadium was built in White City, London, for the 1908 Summer Olympics, often seen as the precursor to the modern seater stadium and noted for hosting the finish of the first modern distance marathon. It also hosted speedway and a match at the 1966 World Cup, before the stadium was...

 in Shepherd's Bush
Shepherd's Bush
-Commerce:Commercial activity in Shepherd's Bush is now focused on the Westfield shopping centre next to Shepherd's Bush Central line station and on the many small shops which run along the northern side of the Green....

 in London. There were protests about the final few miles because of tram-lines and cobbles, so the route was revised to cross the rough ground of Wormwood Scrubs
Wormwood Scrubs
Wormwood Scrubs, known locally as The Scrubs, is an open space located in the north-eastern corner of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London. It is the largest open space in the Borough, at 80 ha , and one of the largest areas of common land in London...

. This lengthened the route, as did plans to make the start 700 yards (640.1 m) from Queen Victoria's statue by Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

, and it was decided to fix the distance at 26 miles (41.8 km) to the stadium, plus a lap of the track (586 yards, 2 feet), using the Royal Entrance as the marathon tunnel, and finishing in front of the Royal Box. For the official Trial Marathon on 25 April 1908, organized by the Polytechnic Harriers, the start was on ‘The Long Walk’ – a magnificent avenue leading up to Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 in the grounds of Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park is a large deer park of , to the south of the town of Windsor on the border of Berkshire and Surrey in England. The park was, for many centuries, the private hunting ground of Windsor Castle and dates primarily from the mid-13th century...

. For the Olympic Marathon itself the start was on the private East Terrace of Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

, with the permission of King Edward VII, so that the public would not interfere with the start. The Princess of Wales
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

 and her children drove from their home at Frogmore
Frogmore
The Frogmore Estate or Gardens comprise of private gardens within the grounds of the Home Park, adjoining Windsor Castle, in the English county of Berkshire. The name derives from the preponderance of frogs which have always lived in this low-lying and marshy area.It is the location of Frogmore...

 on the far side of Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park is a large deer park of , to the south of the town of Windsor on the border of Berkshire and Surrey in England. The park was, for many centuries, the private hunting ground of Windsor Castle and dates primarily from the mid-13th century...

 to watch the start of the race. Shortly before the Games opened it was realized that the Royal Entrance could not be used as the marathon entrance—it was raised to permit easy descent by the royal party from their carriages, and did not open onto the track—so an alternative entrance was chosen, diagonally opposite the Royal Box. A special path was made just outside the Franco British Exhibition ground so that the distance to the stadium remained 26 miles. The finishing line was left unchanged, but in order that the spectators, including Queen Alexandra
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

, could have the best view of the final yards, the direction of running was changed to "right-hand inside" (i.e. clockwise). This meant the distance in the stadium was shortened to 385 yards, and the total distance became 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km).

For the next Olympics in 1912, the length was changed to 40.2 kilometres (25 mi), and changed again to 42.75 kilometres (26.6 mi) for the 1920 Olympics, until it was fixed at the 1908 distance for the 1924 Olympics. In fact, of the first seven Olympic Games, there were six different marathon distances between 40 and 42.75 kilometres or between 24.85 and 26.56 miles (40 km being used twice).

However, the dramatic finish of the 1908 Olympic marathon led to worldwide marathon fever. In a postcard sent at the time, an American spectator said he had "just seen the greatest race of the century." The huge crowd, including Queen Alexandra, watched as the little Italian, Dorando Pietri
Dorando Pietri
Dorando Pietri, often wrongly spelt Petri was an Italian athlete famous for his dramatic finish and eventual disqualification in the marathon at the 1908 Summer Olympics held in London.-Early years:Pietri was born in Mandrio, a frazione of Correggio, but spent his youth in Carpi...

, staggered round the final 385 yards (352 m), falling several times, and eventually being propelled by officials over the line as Irish-American Johnny Hayes
Johnny Hayes
John "Johnny" Joseph Hayes was an American athlete, a member of the Irish American Athletic Club, and winner of the marathon race at the 1908 Summer Olympics...

 got ever closer. Pietri was disqualified and Hayes was awarded the Gold Medal. However, Queen Alexandra was so moved by his plight that the very next day she presented Pietri with a silver-gilt cup.

Pietri and Hayes both turned professional and there were several re-matches, which had to be over the 26 miles 385 yards. Many other marathons were also held at that distance, including the important Polytechnic Marathon
Polytechnic Marathon
The Polytechnic Marathon, often called the Poly, was a marathon held annually between 1909 and 1996, over various courses in or near London. It was the first marathon to be run regularly over the distance of 26 miles, 385 yards which is now the global standard...

. The IAAF minutes are reportedly silent as to the reason the 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) was chosen in 1921, so any conclusion must be speculative, but emotional attachment to the distance of the "race of the century" was clearly strong.

IAAF and world records

An official IAAF marathon course must be at least 42.195 km and can be up to 42 m longer. Course officials add a short course prevention factor
Short course prevention factor
The short course prevention factor is a multiplicative factor or coefficient used in the sport of athletics, specifically road running, to ensure that the measured length of a course is at least as long as the desired length of the course...

 of up to one metre per kilometre to their measurements to reduce the risk of a measuring error producing a length below the minimum distance.

For events governed by IAAF rules, it is mandatory that the route be marked such that all competitors can see the distance covered in kilometres. The rules make no mention regarding the use of miles. The IAAF will only recognise world record
World record
A world record is usually the best global performance ever recorded and verified in a specific skill or sport. The book Guinness World Records collates and publishes notable records of all types, from first and best to worst human achievements, to extremes in the natural world and beyond...

s that are established at events that are run under IAAF rules. For major events, it is customary to publish competitors' timings at the midway mark and also at 5 km splits; marathon runners can be credited with world records for lesser distances recognised by the IAAF (such as 20 km, 30 km and so on) if such records are established while the runner is running a marathon and completed the marathon course.

Marathon races

Annually, more than 500 marathons are organized worldwide. Some of these belong to the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races
Association of International Marathons and Distance Races
The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, also known as AIMS, is an association of long-distance running races. Originally founded in 1982 at a meeting in London of marathon race directors, its membership was extended in 1986 to include all road races...

 (AIMS) which has grown since its foundation in 1982 to embrace over 300 member events in 83 countries and territories. Five of the largest and most prestigious races, Boston
Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts, on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897 and inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest...

, New York City
New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon is a major annual marathon that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is one of the largest marathons in the world, with 45,103 finishers in 2010...

, Chicago
Chicago Marathon
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a major marathon held yearly in Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Alongside the Boston, New York, London and Berlin Marathons, it is one of the five World Marathon Majors. Thus, it is also an IAAF Gold Label race...

, London
London Marathon
The London Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world, and one of the five top world marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors competition, which has a $1 million prize purse. It has been held each spring in London since 1981. The race is currently sponsored by Virgin Money,...

, and Berlin
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

, form the biennial World Marathon Majors
World Marathon Majors
The World Marathon Majors is a championship-style competition for marathon runners that started in 2006. It comprises five annual races for the cities of Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, and New York City. Two other races are also included in the series: the IAAF World Championships Marathon and...

 series, awarding $500,000 annually to the best overall male and female performers in the series.

In 2006, the editors of Runner's World
Runner's World
Runner's World is a globally circulated monthly magazine for runners of all skills sets, published by Rodale Press in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, in the United States...

 selected a "World's Top 10 Marathons", in which the Amsterdam
Amsterdam Marathon
The Amsterdam Marathon is an annual marathon race over the classic distance of 42.195km held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands since 1975. It is one of the top ten marathons in the world.-History:...

, Honolulu
Honolulu Marathon
The Honolulu Marathon is one of the world's largest marathons. It takes place annually in Honolulu, Hawaii on the second Sunday in December. - History :...

, Paris
Paris Marathon
The Paris International Marathon is an annual marathon which takes place from the Champs-Élysées heading towards the Place de la Concorde and continuing through the city to finish at Foch Avenue....

, Rotterdam
Rotterdam Marathon
The Rotterdam Marathon is an annual marathon that has been held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands since 1981. It has been held in April of every year since the third edition in 1984, and attracts many top athletes. It has also been ranked as one of the top 10 marathons in the world by Runner's World...

, and Stockholm
Stockholm Marathon
The Stockholm Marathon, known as the ASICS Stockholm Marathon for sponsorship reasons, is an annual marathon arranged in Stockholm, Sweden since 1979. It serves as the Swedish marathon championship race...

 marathons were featured along with the five mentioned above. Other notable large marathons include United States Marine Corps Marathon
Marine Corps Marathon
The Marine Corps Marathon is an annual marathon held in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC. The mission of the MCM is to promote physical fitness, generate community goodwill and showcase the organizational skills of the United States Marine Corps....

, Los Angeles
Los Angeles Marathon
The Honda LA Marathon is an annual running event held each spring in Los Angeles, California. The 26.219 mile footrace, inspired by the success of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, has been contested every year since 1986...

, and Rome. The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, inspired by the success of the 1896 Olympic marathon and held since 1897. The oldest annual marathon in Europe is the Košice Peace Marathon
Košice Peace Marathon
The Košice Peace Marathon is the oldest marathon in Europe and the second-oldest in the world .The first course was held in 1924. The marathon takes place each year on the first October Sunday...

, held since 1924 in Košice
Košice
Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary...

, Slovakia. The historic Polytechnic Marathon
Polytechnic Marathon
The Polytechnic Marathon, often called the Poly, was a marathon held annually between 1909 and 1996, over various courses in or near London. It was the first marathon to be run regularly over the distance of 26 miles, 385 yards which is now the global standard...

 was discontinued in 1996.

One of the more unusual marathons is the Midnight Sun Marathon
Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon
Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon is the northernmost Association of International Marathons and Distance Races certified marathon in the world. The Midnight Sun Marathon is hosted annually by the Norwegian city of Tromsø in June each year.-Midnight Sun Marathon:...

 held in Tromsø, Norway at 70 degrees north
70th parallel north
The 70th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 70 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane, in the Arctic. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Asia and North America, and passes through some of the southern seas of the Arctic Ocean....

. Using unofficial and temporary courses, measured by GPS, races of marathon distance are now held at the North Pole
North Pole
The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is, subject to the caveats explained below, defined as the point in the northern hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface...

, in Antarctica and over desert terrain. Among other unusual marathons to mention are: The Great Wall Marathon on The Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups...

, The Big Five Marathon
Big Five Marathon
The Big Five Marathon is a marathon race situated on the savannahs of South Africa. The race gets its name from the famous animals of Africa referred to as The Big Five Game: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo....

 among the safari wildlife of South Africa, The Great Tibetan Marathon
Great Tibetan Marathon
The annually recurring Great Tibetan Marathon is a marathon takes place on the Tibetan Plateau in northern India - also known as little Tibet.Hosted by Adventure Marathon, the Great Tibetan Marathon is unusual in that it happens in an altitude of 3,500 meters in spiritual Buddhist surroundings...

 – a marathon in an atmosphere of Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

 at an altitude of 3500 metres (11,482.9 ft), and The Polar circle marathon
Polar circle marathon
The Polar Circle Marathon is a classical 42.195 km marathon, which however has the very untraditional feature that it is situated on 66 degrees northern latitude - also known as the polar circle. This means that the temperatures are relatively low...

 on the permanent ice cap of Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 in −15 degrees Celsius/+5 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures.

Some of the most scenic marathon routes are: Steamboat Marathon, Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Mayor's Marathon, Anchorage, Alaska; Kona Marathon, Keauhou/Kona, Hawaii; San Francisco Marathon
San Francisco Marathon
The San Francisco Marathon is a series of USATF certified road running events held each July or August in San Francisco, California that include a full marathon, two half marathons, and a 5K. Except for in 1988, the marathon has been held annually since 1977. The current marathon course forms a...

, San Francisco, California.

The Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon is the only marathon where participants run over two continents, Europe and Asia, during the course of a single event. In the Detroit Free Press Marathon, participants cross the US/Canadian border twice. The Niagara Falls International Marathon includes one international border crossing, via the Peace Bridge
Peace Bridge
The Peace Bridge is an international bridge between Canada and the United States at the east end of Lake Erie at the source of the Niagara River, about upriver of Niagara Falls. It connects the City of Buffalo, New York, in the United States to the Town of Fort Erie, Ontario, in Canada...

 from Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

, New York, USA to Fort Erie
Fort Erie
Fort Erie was the first British fort to be constructed as part of a network developed after the Seven Years' War was concluded by the Treaty of Paris at which time all of New France had been ceded to Great Britain...

, Ontario, Canada.

Wheelchair division

Many marathons feature a wheelchair division. Typically, those in the wheelchair racing
Wheelchair racing
Wheelchair racing is the racing of wheelchairs in track and road races. Wheelchair racing is open to athletes with any qualifying type of disability, amputees, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and partially sighted . Athletes are classified in accordance with the nature and severity of their...

 division start their races earlier than their running counterparts.

The first wheelchair marathon was in 1974 in Toledo, Ohio, won by Bob Hall in 2:54. Hall competed in the 1975 Boston Marathon
Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts, on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897 and inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest...

 and finished in 2:58, inaugurating the introduction of wheelchair divisions into the Boston Marathon. From 1977 the race was declared the US National Wheelchair championship. The Boston Marathon awards $10,000 to the winning push-rim athlete. Ernst van Dyk
Ernst van Dyk
Ernst Van Dyk is a South African wheelchair racer. He has won a record 9 wheelchair titles in the Boston Marathon. He is also the current world record holder for men's wheelchair marathon from his record-setting race in the 2004 Boston Marathon, which he completed in 1 hour, 18 minutes, 27 seconds...

 has won the Boston Marathon wheelchair division nine times and holds the world record at 1:18:27, set in Boston in 2004. Jean Driscoll
Jean Driscoll
Jean Driscoll is an American wheelchair racer. She won the women's wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon eight times, more than any other female athlete in any division. Her wins in Boston included seven consecutive first place finishes from 1990 to 1996...

 won eight times (seven consecutively) and holds the women's world record at 1:34:22.

The New York City Marathon
New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon is a major annual marathon that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is one of the largest marathons in the world, with 45,103 finishers in 2010...

 banned wheelchair entrants in 1977, citing safety concerns, but then voluntarily allowed Bob Hall to compete after the state Division of Human Rights ordered the marathon to show cause. The Division ruled in 1979 that the New York City Marathon and New York Road Runners
New York Road Runners
New York Road Runners , founded in 1958 with 47 members, has grown into the foremost running organization, with a membership of 40,000. NYRR conducts more than 100 events each year, including races, classes, clinics, and lectures...

 club had to allow wheelchair athletes to compete, and confirmed this at appeal in 1980, but the State Supreme Court ruled in 1981 that a ban on wheelchair racers was not discriminatory as the marathon was historically a foot race. However, by 1986 14 wheelchair athletes were competing, and an official wheelchair division was added to the marathon in 2000.

World records and world's best

See also Marathon world record progression, Marathon year rankings
Marathon Year Rankings
The following table shows the yearly rankings in the marathon since 1921 and 1980 , based on the best performance in the classic distance race of 42.195 km ....

 and ARRS.

World record
World record
A world record is usually the best global performance ever recorded and verified in a specific skill or sport. The book Guinness World Records collates and publishes notable records of all types, from first and best to worst human achievements, to extremes in the natural world and beyond...

s were not officially recognized by the IAAF until 1 January 2004; previously, the best times for the marathon were referred to as the 'world best'. Courses must conform to IAAF standards for a record to be recognized. However, marathon routes still vary greatly in elevation, course, and surface, making exact comparisons impossible. Typically, the fastest times are set over relatively flat courses near sea level, during good weather conditions and with the assistance of pacesetters.

The current world record time for men over the distance is 2 hours 3 minutes and 38 seconds, set in the Berlin Marathon
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

 by Patrick Makau of Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 on 25 September 2011, an improvement of 21 seconds over the previous record also set in the Berlin Marathon
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

 by Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie is an Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event. He won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon...

 of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 on 28 September 2008. The world best (downgraded by the IAAF from World's Record status) for women was set by Paula Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe
Paula Jane Radcliffe, MBE is an English long-distance runner. She is the current women's world record holder in the marathon with her time of 2:15:25 hours...

 of Great Britain in the London Marathon
London Marathon
The London Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world, and one of the five top world marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors competition, which has a $1 million prize purse. It has been held each spring in London since 1981. The race is currently sponsored by Virgin Money,...

 on 13 April 2003, in 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds. The reason for the downgrade is because this time was set using male pacesetters; the fastest time by a woman without using a male pacesetter ("woman-only") was also set by Paula Radcliffe, again during the London Marathon, with a time of 2 hours 17 minutes and 42 seconds, on 17 April 2005.

On 18 April 2011, Geoffrey Mutai
Geoffrey Mutai
Geoffrey Kiprono Mutai is a Kenyan long distance runner who specialises in road running competitions...

 of Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 ran the fastest marathon ever in a time of 2 hours 3 minutes 2 seconds at the 2011 Boston Marathon
Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts, on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897 and inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest...

, but the mark will not be recognized as a world record since the Boston course fails the IAAF criteria for world record eligibility.

World all-time top ten lists

According to IAAF statistics, the following men and women are among the top ten fastest at the marathon distance. Although not yet noted in the IAAF's official statistics, Liliya Shobukhova
Liliya Shobukhova
Liliya Bulatovna Shobukhova is a Russian long-distance runner who competes in marathon races. She previously specialized in the 3000 and 5000 metres track events....

's victory at the 2011 Chicago Marathon
2011 Chicago Marathon
The 2011 Chicago Marathon was the 34th edition of the annual marathon race in Chicago, Illinois which was held on Sunday, October 9. The men's race was won by Kenya's Moses Mosop in a time of 2:05:38 hours – a course record. Liliya Shobukhova, who recorded a time of 2:18:20 hours, was the women's...

 in a time of 2 hours 18 minutes 20 seconds makes her the second fastest woman marathoner.
Men
Time Athlete Country Date Location
2h03:38 Patrick Makau 25 September 2011 Berlin
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

2h03:42 Wilson Kipsang 30 October 2011 Frankfurt
Frankfurt Marathon
Frankfurt Marathon is an annual marathon held in Frankfurt, Germany in the month of October. The race, currently sponsored by BMW, is Germany's oldest city marathon.- List of winners :Key:- External links :***...

2h03:59 Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie is an Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event. He won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon...

28 September 2008 Berlin
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

2h04:27 Duncan Kibet
Duncan Kibet
Duncan Kibet is a runner from Kenya. He became the second fastest marathoner ever with a time of 2:04:27 hours, when he won the 2009 Rotterdam Marathon.- Career :Kibet dropped out of school in 1997 due to financial problems...

5 April 2009 Rotterdam
Rotterdam Marathon
The Rotterdam Marathon is an annual marathon that has been held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands since 1981. It has been held in April of every year since the third edition in 1984, and attracts many top athletes. It has also been ranked as one of the top 10 marathons in the world by Runner's World...

2h04:27 James Kwambai
James Kwambai
James Kipsang Kwambai is a runner from Kenya, who specialises in marathons.Kwambai went to the Kondabilet Primary School in Marakwet East District, but dropped out at standard seven....

5 April 2009 Rotterdam
Rotterdam Marathon
The Rotterdam Marathon is an annual marathon that has been held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands since 1981. It has been held in April of every year since the third edition in 1984, and attracts many top athletes. It has also been ranked as one of the top 10 marathons in the world by Runner's World...

2h04:40 Emmanuel Mutai 17 April 2011 London
London Marathon
The London Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world, and one of the five top world marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors competition, which has a $1 million prize purse. It has been held each spring in London since 1981. The race is currently sponsored by Virgin Money,...

2h04:55 Paul Tergat
Paul Tergat
Paul Kibii Tergat is a Kenyan professional long distance runner. He held the world record in the marathon from 2003 to 2007, with a time of 2:04:55, and is regarded as one of the most accomplished long-distance runners of all time.Now concentrating exclusively on the marathon, Tergat won many...

28 September 2003 Berlin
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

2h04:55 Geoffrey Mutai
Geoffrey Mutai
Geoffrey Kiprono Mutai is a Kenyan long distance runner who specialises in road running competitions...

11 April 2010 Rotterdam
Rotterdam Marathon
The Rotterdam Marathon is an annual marathon that has been held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands since 1981. It has been held in April of every year since the third edition in 1984, and attracts many top athletes. It has also been ranked as one of the top 10 marathons in the world by Runner's World...

2h04:56 Sammy Korir
Sammy Korir
Sammy Korir is a long distance runner from Kenya.In 2008 Korir became the first man to run ten marathons faster than the time of 2:09 hours, by finishing third in Dubai Marathon with a time of 2:08:34. The race was won by Haile Gebrselassie, who narrowly failed to break the world record held by...

28 September 2003 Berlin
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

2h05:04 Abel Kirui
Abel Kirui
Abel Kirui is a male long-distance runner from Kenya who competes in marathons. He had back-to-back wins in the World Championships Marathon in 2009 and 2011...

5 April 2009 Rotterdam
Rotterdam Marathon
The Rotterdam Marathon is an annual marathon that has been held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands since 1981. It has been held in April of every year since the third edition in 1984, and attracts many top athletes. It has also been ranked as one of the top 10 marathons in the world by Runner's World...


Women
Time Athlete Country Date Location
2h15:25 Paula Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe
Paula Jane Radcliffe, MBE is an English long-distance runner. She is the current women's world record holder in the marathon with her time of 2:15:25 hours...

13 April 2003 London
London Marathon
The London Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world, and one of the five top world marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors competition, which has a $1 million prize purse. It has been held each spring in London since 1981. The race is currently sponsored by Virgin Money,...

2h18:20 Liliya Shobukhova
Liliya Shobukhova
Liliya Bulatovna Shobukhova is a Russian long-distance runner who competes in marathon races. She previously specialized in the 3000 and 5000 metres track events....

9 October 2011 Chicago
Chicago Marathon
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a major marathon held yearly in Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Alongside the Boston, New York, London and Berlin Marathons, it is one of the five World Marathon Majors. Thus, it is also an IAAF Gold Label race...

2h18:47 Catherine Ndereba
Catherine Ndereba
Wincatherine Nyambura Ndereba is a Kenyan marathon runner. She has twice won the marathon at the World Championships in Athletics and won silver medals in the Olympics in 2004 and 2008. She is also a four-time winner of the Boston Marathon...

7 October 2001 Chicago
Chicago Marathon
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a major marathon held yearly in Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Alongside the Boston, New York, London and Berlin Marathons, it is one of the five World Marathon Majors. Thus, it is also an IAAF Gold Label race...

2h19:12 Mizuki Noguchi
Mizuki Noguchi
is a Japanese professional long-distance runner who specialises in the marathon event. She is an Olympic champion over the distance and set two world records in 2005....

25 September 2005 Berlin
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

2h19:19 Mary Keitany 17 April 2011 London
London Marathon
The London Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world, and one of the five top world marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors competition, which has a $1 million prize purse. It has been held each spring in London since 1981. The race is currently sponsored by Virgin Money,...

2h19:19 Irina Mikitenko 28 September 2008 Berlin
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

2h19:36 Deena Kastor
Deena Kastor
Deena Michelle Kastor is an American long-distance runner. She holds American records in the marathon, half-marathon, and numerous road distances. She won the bronze medal in the women's marathon at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece...

23 April 2006 London
London Marathon
The London Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world, and one of the five top world marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors competition, which has a $1 million prize purse. It has been held each spring in London since 1981. The race is currently sponsored by Virgin Money,...

2h19:39 Sun Yingjie
Sun Yingjie
Sun Yingjie is a Chinese female long-distance runner who competes in events ranging from 5000 metres to the marathon. She rose to prominence by winning two gold medals at the 2002 Asian Games. In 2003, she won a bronze medal in the 10,000 metres at the World Championships in Paris...

19 October 2003 Beijing
Beijing Marathon
The Beijing International Marathon is an annual marathon race of 42.195 km held in October in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The race was first held in 1981 and has been held every year since. The race begins at Tiananmen Square and finishes at the National Olympic Sports Centre stadium...

2h19:41 Yoko Shibui
Yoko Shibui
is a long-distance runner from Japan, who is competing in the 5000 and 10,000 metres as well as the marathon race. She holds the Japanese record over 10,000 m with her best time of 30:48.89 minutes...

26 September 2004 Berlin
Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is set up as a city-wide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate...

2h19:44 Florence Kiplagat
Florence Kiplagat
Florence Jebet Kiplagat is a Kenyan long-distance runner. She is a two-time world champion having won at the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the 2010 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships....

25 September 2011 Berlin

Oldest marathoner

Fauja Singh
Fauja Singh
Fauja Singh is a British centenarian marathon runner of Indian Sikh origin. He is a world record holder in his age bracket...

, 100, finished the Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Toronto Waterfront Marathon
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is an annual marathon held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the last Sunday in September. Starting from 2011, the marathon will be held in October. The race day also includes a half marathon and 5 km race....

, becoming the first centenarian ever to complete a run of that distance. Singh, a British citizen, finished the race on 16 October 2011 with a time of 8:11:5.9, making him the oldest marathoner.

Gladys Burrill, a 92-year-old British woman and part-time resident of Hawaii, previously held the Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

title of oldest person to complete a marathon with her 9 hours 53 minutes performance at the 2010 Honolulu Marathon
Honolulu Marathon
The Honolulu Marathon is one of the world's largest marathons. It takes place annually in Honolulu, Hawaii on the second Sunday in December. - History :...

. The records of the Association of Road Racing Statisticians
Association of Road Racing Statisticians
The Association of Road Racing Statisticians is an independent, non-profit organization that collects, analyzes, and publishes statistics regarding road running races. The primary purpose of the ARRS is to maintain a valid list of world road records for standard race distances and to establish...

, at that time, however, suggested that Singh was overall the oldest marathoner, completing the 2004 London Marathon at the age of 93 years and 17 days, and that Burrill is the oldest female marathoner, completing the 2010 Honolulu Marathon at the age of 92 years and 19 days. Singh's age was also reported to be 93 by other sources.

Participation

In 2010, there were approximately 500,000 marathon finishers in the United States.

Multiple marathons

As marathon running has become more popular, some athletes have undertaken to setting goals involving the running of a series of marathons.

Over 350 individuals have completed a marathon in each state of the United States plus Washington, D.C. and some have done it as many as eight times. Beverly Paquin, a 22-year old nurse from Iowa, was the youngest woman to run a marathon in all 50 states. A few weeks later, Morgan Cummings (also 22) became the youngest woman to complete a marathon in all 50 states and DC. In 2004, Chuck Bryant of Miami, Florida, who lost his right leg below the knee, became the first amputee to finish this circuit. Bryant has completed a total of 59 marathons on his prosthesis. Twenty-seven people have run a marathon on each of the seven continents, and 31 people have run a marathon in each of the Canadian provinces. In 1980, in what was termed the Marathon of Hope, Terry Fox
Terry Fox
Terrance Stanley "Terry" Fox , was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research...

, who had lost a leg to cancer and so ran with one artificial leg, attained 5373 kilometres (3,338.6 mi) of his proposed cross-Canada cancer fundraising run, thus maintaining an average of over 37 kilometres (23 mi), close to the planned marathon distance, for each of 143 consecutive days.

On 25 September 2011, Patrick Finney of Grapevine, Texas became the first person with multiple sclerosis to have finished a marathon in each state of the United States. In 2004, "the disease had left him unable to walk. But unwilling to endure a life of infirmity, Finney managed to regain his ability to balance on two feet, to walk – and eventually to run – through extensive rehabilitation therapy and new medications."

In 2003 British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Ranulph Fiennes
Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet, OBE , better known as Ranulph Fiennes, is a British adventurer and holder of several endurance records. He is also a prolific writer. Fiennes served in the British Army for eight years including a period on counter-insurgency service while...

 completed seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. He completed this feat despite suffering from a heart attack and undergoing a double heart bypass operation just four months before.

On 14 December 2008, 64-year old Larry Macon set a record by running 105 marathons in a single calendar year.

In Europe a goal among some people is to run the greatest number of marathon races overall in one's lifetime. There is something called the 100-club, for example. To qualify one must have run 100 races.

Other goals are to attempt to run marathons on a series of consecutive weekends (Richard Worley on 159 weekends), or to run the most marathons during a particular year or the most in a lifetime. A pioneer in running multiple marathons was Sy Mah
Sy Mah
Thian K. "Sy" Mah was an assistant professor of physical education at the University of Toledo and a Canadian long-distance runner who held a Guinness World Records mark for the most lifetime marathons ....

 of Toledo, Ohio, who ran 524 before he died in 1988. As of 30 June 2007, Horst Preisler of Germany had successfully completed 1214 marathons plus 347 ultramarathons, a total of 1561 events at marathon distance or longer. Sigrid Eichner, Christian Hottas and Hans-Joachim Meyer have also all completed over 1000 marathons each. Norm Frank of the United States is credited with 945 marathons.

In 2010, Stefaan Engels
Stefaan Engels
Stefaan Engels , also known as "marathon man", is a Belgian marathoner and triathlete, the first man who finished 365 consecutive marathons in a single year with 365 marathons completed in 2010...

, a Belgian, set out to run the marathon distance every day of the year. Because of an injury he had to resort to a handbike near the end of January 2010. However, on 5 February he was fully recovered and decided to reset the counter back to zero. On 30 March he broke the existing record of Ricardo Abad Martínez
Ricardo Abad
Ricardo Abad Martínez is a Spanish ultrarunner. He holds the Guinness record of consecutive marathons run on consecutive days....

, from Spain, who completed 150 marathons in 150 consecutive days in 2009. As of 5 February 2011, Engels had run 365 marathon distances in as many days.

Some runners compete to run the same marathons for the most consecutive years. For example, Johnny Kelley
Johnny Kelley
John Adelbert "Johnny" Kelley was an American long-distance runner who twice represented his native country at the Summer Olympics, in 1936 and 1948....

 completed 61 Boston Marathons. Four runners, dubbed the "ground pounders" (Will Brown, Matthew Jaffe, Alfred Richmond, and Mel Williams), have completed all 35 US Marine Corps Marathon
Marine Corps Marathon
The Marine Corps Marathon is an annual marathon held in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC. The mission of the MCM is to promote physical fitness, generate community goodwill and showcase the organizational skills of the United States Marine Corps....

s.

On 31 Dec. 2010, Martin Parnell, 55, a semi-retired mining engineer from Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, completed 250 marathons over a period of one year, covering about 10,550 km in the process. During his record breaking attempt, he went through 22 pairs of running shoes, and endured temperatures below -30 °C.

Running

Most participants do not run a marathon to win. More important for most runners is their personal finish time and their placement within their specific gender and age group, though some runners just want to finish. Strategies for completing a marathon include running the whole distance and a run-walk strategy. In 2005, the average marathon time in the U.S. was 4 hours 32 minutes 8 seconds for men, 5 hours 6 minutes 8 seconds for women.

A goal many runners aim for is to break certain time barriers. For example, recreational first-timers often try to run the marathon under four hours; more competitive runners may attempt to finish under three hours. Other benchmarks are the qualifying times for major marathons. The Boston Marathon
Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts, on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897 and inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest...

, the oldest marathon in the United States, requires a qualifying time for all non-professional runners. The New York City Marathon
New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon is a major annual marathon that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is one of the largest marathons in the world, with 45,103 finishers in 2010...

 also requires a qualifying time for guaranteed entry, at a pace slightly faster than Boston's.

Typically, there is a maximum allowed time of about six hours after which the marathon route is closed, although some larger marathons keep the course open considerably longer (eight hours or more). Many marathons around the world have such time limits by which all runners must have crossed the finish line. Anyone slower than the limit will be picked up by a sweeper bus. In many cases the marathon organizers are required to reopen the roads to the public so that traffic can return to normal.

With the growth in popularity of marathoning, many marathons across the United States and the world have been filling to capacity faster than ever before. When the Boston Marathon opened up registration for its 2011 running, the field capacity was filled within eight hours.

Training

The long run is an important element in marathon training. Recreational runners commonly try to reach a maximum of about 20 miles (32.2 km) in their longest weekly run and a total of about 40 miles (64.4 km) a week when training for the marathon, but wide variability exists in practice and in recommendations. More experienced marathoners may run a longer distance during the week. Greater weekly training mileages can offer greater results in terms of distance and endurance, but also carry a greater risk of training injury. Most male elite marathon runners will have weekly mileages of over 100 miles (160.9 km).

Many training programs last a minimum of five or six months, with a gradual increase in the distance run and finally, for recovery, a period of tapering
Tapering
In the context of sports, tapering refers to the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition. Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as the marathon, athletics and swimming. For many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal...

 in the weeks preceding the race. For beginners wishing to merely finish a marathon, a minimum of four months of running four days a week is recommended. Many trainers recommend a weekly increase in mileage of no more than 10%. It is also often advised to maintain a consistent running program for six weeks or so before beginning a marathon training program, to allow the body to adapt to the new stresses. The marathon training program itself would suppose variation between hard and easy training, with a periodization of the general plan.

Training programs can be found at the websites of Runner's World
Runner's World
Runner's World is a globally circulated monthly magazine for runners of all skills sets, published by Rodale Press in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, in the United States...

, Hal Higdon
Hal Higdon
Hal Higdon is an American writer and runner. He has contributed to Runner's World magazine longer than any other writer. He is the author of 34 books, including the best-selling Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide...

, Jeff Galloway
Jeff Galloway
Jeff Galloway is a former American Olympian and the author of Galloway's Book on Running....

, and the Boston Athletic Association
Boston Athletic Association
The Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit, organized sports association for the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It hosts such events as the world-renowned Boston Marathon....

, and in numerous other published sources, including the websites of specific marathons.

The last long training run might be undertaken up to two weeks prior to the event. Many marathon runners also "carbo-load"
Carbohydrate loading
Carbohydrate loading, commonly referred to as carbo-loading or carb-loading, is a strategy used by endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, to maximize the storage of glycogen in the muscles....

 (increase carbohydrate intake while holding total caloric intake constant) during the week before the marathon to allow their bodies to store more glycogen
Glycogen
Glycogen is a molecule that serves as the secondary long-term energy storage in animal and fungal cells, with the primary energy stores being held in adipose tissue...

.

Glycogen and "the wall"

Carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s that a person eats are converted by the liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

 and muscle
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

s into glycogen
Glycogen
Glycogen is a molecule that serves as the secondary long-term energy storage in animal and fungal cells, with the primary energy stores being held in adipose tissue...

 for storage. Glycogen
Glycogen
Glycogen is a molecule that serves as the secondary long-term energy storage in animal and fungal cells, with the primary energy stores being held in adipose tissue...

 burns rapidly to provide quick energy. Runners can store about 8 MJ
Joule
The joule ; symbol J) is a derived unit of energy or work in the International System of Units. It is equal to the energy expended in applying a force of one newton through a distance of one metre , or in passing an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second...

 or 2,000 kcal
Calorie
The calorie is a pre-SI metric unit of energy. It was first defined by Nicolas Clément in 1824 as a unit of heat, entering French and English dictionaries between 1841 and 1867. In most fields its use is archaic, having been replaced by the SI unit of energy, the joule...

 worth of glycogen in their bodies, enough for about 30 km/18–20 miles of running. Many runners report that running becomes noticeably more difficult at that point. When glycogen runs low, the body must then obtain energy by burning stored fat, which does not burn as readily. When this happens, the runner will experience dramatic fatigue
Fatigue (physical)
Fatigue is a state of awareness describing a range of afflictions, usually associated with physical and/or mental weakness, though varying from a general state of lethargy to a specific work-induced burning sensation within one's muscles...

 and is said to "hit the wall". The aim of training for the marathon, according to many coaches, is to maximize the limited glycogen available so that the fatigue of the "wall" is not as dramatic. This is accomplished in part by utilizing a higher percentage of energy from burned fat even during the early phase of the race, thus conserving glycogen.

Carbohydrate-based "energy gel
Energy gel
Energy gels are carbohydrate gels that provide energy for exercise and promote recovery, commonly used in endurance events such as running, cycling, and triathlons. Energy gels are also referred to as endurance gels, sports gels, nutritional gels, and carbohydrate gels. They come in small,...

s" are used by runners to avoid or reduce the effect of "hitting the wall", as they provide easy to digest energy during the run. Energy gels usually contain varying amounts of sodium and potassium and some also contain caffeine. They need to be consumed with a certain amount of water. Recommendations for how often to take an energy gel during the race range widely.
Alternatives to gels include various forms of concentrated sugars, and foods high in simple carbohydrates that can be digested easily. Many runners experiment with consuming energy supplements during training runs to determine what works best for them. Consumption of food while running sometimes makes the runner sick. Runners are advised not to ingest a new food or medicine just prior to or during a race. It is also important to refrain from taking any of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory class of pain relievers (NSAIDS, e.g., aspirin
Aspirin
Aspirin , also known as acetylsalicylic acid , is a salicylate drug, often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory medication. It was discovered by Arthur Eichengrun, a chemist with the German company Bayer...

, ibuprofen
Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used for relief of symptoms of arthritis, fever, as an analgesic , especially where there is an inflammatory component, and dysmenorrhea....

, naproxen
Naproxen
Naproxen sodium is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly used for the reduction of pain, fever, inflammation and stiffness caused by conditions such as:...

), as these drugs change the way the kidneys regulate their blood flow and may lead to serious kidney problems, especially in cases involving moderate to severe dehydration.

After a marathon

Marathon participation may result in various medical, musculoskeletal, and dermatological complaints. Delayed onset muscle soreness
Delayed onset muscle soreness
Delayed onset muscle soreness , also called muscle fever, is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise. The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. It is caused by eccentric exercise...

 (DOMS) is a common condition affecting runners during the first week following a marathon. Various types of mild exercise or massage
Massage
Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being. The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading", or from Arabic massa meaning "to touch, feel or handle"...

 have been recommended to alleviate pain secondary to DOMS. Dermatological issues frequently include "jogger's nipple
Jogger's nipple
Fissure of the nipple, also known as jogger's nipple, is a condition that can be caused by friction that can result in soreness, dryness or irritation to, or bleeding of, one or both nipples during and/or following running or other physical exercise...

", "jogger's toe
Subungual hematoma
A subungual hematoma is a collection of blood underneath a toenail or fingernail . It can be extremely painful for an injury of its size although otherwise it is not a serious medical condition...

", and blisters.

The immune system
Immune system
An immune system is a system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells. It detects a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and needs to distinguish them from the organism's own...

 is reportedly suppressed for a short time. Changes to the blood chemistry may lead physicians to mistakenly diagnose heart malfunction.

After long training runs and the marathon itself, consuming carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s to replace glycogen stores and protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 to aid muscle recovery is commonly recommended. In addition, soaking the lower half of the body for 20 minutes or so in cold or ice water may force blood through the leg muscles to speed recovery.

Health risks

The nature of marathon running has various health risks. Training and the races themselves put runners under stress. While rare, even death is a possibility during a race.

Common health risks fall under injury such as tendonitis
Tendonitis
Tendinitis , meaning inflammation of a tendon , is a type of tendinopathy often confused with the more common tendinosis, which has similar symptoms but requires different treatment...

, fatigue, knee or ankle sprain, extreme dehydration (electrolyte imbalance), and other conditions. Many fall under overuse injuries.

Cardiac health

A study published in 1996 found that the risk of having a fatal heart attack during, or in the period 24 hours after a marathon, was approximately 1 in 50,000 over an athlete's racing career—which the authors characterised as an "extremely small" risk. The paper went on to say that since the risk was so small, cardiac screening programs for marathons were not warranted. However, this study was not an attempt to assess the overall benefit or risk to cardiac health of marathon running.

In 2006, a study of 60 non-elite marathon participants tested runners for certain proteins (see Troponin
Troponin
400px|thumb|right|alt = Colored dice with checkered background|Ribbon representation of the human cardiac troponin core complex in the calcium-saturated form...

) which indicate heart damage or dysfunction after they had completed the marathon, and gave them ultrasound scans
Ultrasound
Ultrasound is cyclic sound pressure with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing. Ultrasound is thus not separated from "normal" sound based on differences in physical properties, only the fact that humans cannot hear it. Although this limit varies from person to person, it is...

 before and after the race. The study revealed that, in that sample of 60 people, runners who had done less than 35 miles (56.3 km) per week of training before the race were most likely to show some heart damage or dysfunction, while runners who had done more than 45 miles (72.4 km) per week of training beforehand showed few or no heart problems.

According to a study presented in 2010, running a marathon can result in decreased function of more than half the segments in the heart's main pumping chamber, but other parts of the heart will take over. Full recovery is reached within three months or less. The fitter the runner the less the effect.

Water consumption dangers

The most significant concern associated with water consumption during marathons is its overconsumption. Drinking excessive amounts of fluid during a race can lead to dilution of sodium in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia
Hyponatremia
Hyponatremia is an electrolyte disturbance in which the sodium concentration in the serum is lower than normal. In the vast majority of cases, hyponatremia occurs as a result of excess body water diluting the serum sodium and is not due to sodium deficiency. Sodium is the dominant extracellular...

, which may result in vomiting, seizures, coma and even death. Dr. Lewis G. Maharam, medical director for the New York City Marathon, has stated, "There are no reported cases of dehydration causing death in the history of world running, but there are plenty of cases of people dying of hyponatremia." Consumption of water during a race has not been demonstrated to enhance performance and may even impair it. Because hyponatremia is caused by excessive water retention, not merely loss of sodium, consumption of sports drinks or salty foods will not prevent it. The International Marathon Medical Directors Association issued a warning in 2001 that urged runners only to drink when they are thirsty, rather than "drinking ahead of their thirst."

Women are more prone to hyponatremia than men. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine
New England Journal of Medicine
The New England Journal of Medicine is an English-language peer-reviewed medical journal published by the Massachusetts Medical Society. It describes itself as the oldest continuously published medical journal in the world.-History:...

found that 13% of runners completing the 2002 Boston Marathon had hyponatremia.

Fluid can be drunk at a rate of about 500 ml/h. A patient suffering hyponatremia can be given a small volume of a concentrated salt
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

 solution intravenously to raise sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

 concentrations in the blood. Some runners weigh themselves before running and write the results on their bibs. If anything goes wrong, first aid
First aid
First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care...

 workers can use the weight information to tell if the patient had consumed too much water.

Charity involvement

Particularly for marathons, it is common to find charities associated with various races. Marathon organizers allotted their limited spacing and entry slots for charity organizations. Runners are given the option to sign up to run particular races, especially when open marathon entries are no longer available.

See also

Marathon articles
  • List of marathons
  • List of marathoners
  • List of marathoners who are non-running specialists
  • National records in the Marathon
    National records in the marathon
    The following tables are an overview of all current national records in the marathon, as compiled by the International Association of Athletics Federations and other authoritative sources of road racing statistics.-Background:...

  • National champions Marathon (men)
    National champions Marathon (men)
    Below a list of all National champions in the Men's Marathon in track and field from several countries since 1980.- Argentina:*1980: Alfredo Maravilla*1981: Raúl Omar Suárez*1982: Alfredo Maravilla*1983: Carlos José Orué*1984: Rubén Aguiar...

  • Marathon at the Paralympics
    Marathon at the Paralympics
    Marathon events have been held at the Summer Paralympic Games, for both men and women, since the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville and New York....

  • Half marathon
    Half marathon
    A half marathon is a road running event of . It is half the distance of a marathon and usually run on roads. Participation in half marathons has grown steadily recently. One of the main reasons for this is that it is a challenging distance, but does not require the same level of training that a...

  • Ironman Triathlon
    Ironman Triathlon
    An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation consisting of a swim, a bike and a marathon run, raced in that order and without a break...

  • Man versus Horse Marathon
    Man versus Horse Marathon
    The Man versus Horse Marathon is an annual race over 22 miles, where runners compete against riders on horseback. The race — which is not technically a marathon, as the route does not meet the requisite distance — takes place in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells every June.-History of the race:The...

  • Mountain marathon
    Mountain Marathon
    Mountain Marathon is an extended form of fell running, usually over two days and often with a strong orienteering element. Competitors usually participate in teams of two, and have to carry their own food and tent...

  • Multiday race
  • Ski marathon
    Ski marathon
    A ski marathon is a long distance cross-country skiing race, usually more than 40 kilometers. Skiers can use either classic or freestyle techniques depending on the rules of the race.Races include:...

  • Ultramarathon
    Ultramarathon
    An ultramarathon is any sporting event involving running longer than the traditional marathon length of .There are two types of ultramarathon events: those that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during specified time...

  • 100 Marathon Club
    100 Marathon Club
    The 100 Marathon Club or British 100 Marathon Club is a club for marathon and ultra marathon runners. It has a membership that is primarily based in the UK, but with additional members from outside Britain. It is affiliated to UK Athletics-Club membership:...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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