What is Marathon?

The name marathon orginates from the Legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. Phedippides was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had beeen defeated in the Battle of Marathon in which he fought which took place in September 480 BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assemble, explaiming “We have won!”, then collapsed and died.

When the idea of marathon Olympics became a reality at the end of the 19th century, the first marathon became part of the modern Olympics in March 10, 1896. The Marathon was won in a time of 2 hours and 58 mintues, 50 seconds by Spiridon Spirous Louis a Greek water carrier in a race exclusive to men. The first womens marathon event was introduced in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics. It was won by Joan Benoit of the USA with a time of 2:24:52.