Name Marathon comes from the legend of the Greek hero Philippides who ran from Marathon to Athens Field to announce the victory of the Greek army over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
According to this, historically unconfirmed story, Philippides immediately after his arrival in Athens died of exhaustion. There is no evidence that this event actually happened - for example, historian Herodotus wrote that Philippides ran from Athens to Sparta. Version in which he ran from Marathon occurs in Plutarch's work, "the Athens celebrates" the first Ages. It is not known exactly which road Philippides ran from fields of Marathon to Athens, because there are two paths: a hilly but shorter in length of 34.5 km and another flatter but measuring about 40.8 miles. It is assumed that Philippides ran the short run because the longer still had remaining units of Persian army.
Speaking of length, it is interesting to point out the fact related to the marathon distance (42km and 195m) - the first time run at the Olympic Games in London in 1908. Until then, the length of the course was exactly 42 km, and additional 195m is added in order for race to start in front of royal castle at Windsor for the day earlier, the English King Edward VII, who was supposed to give the starting signal, fell ill and his doctors advised not to come out of the castle. He gave the signal for the start of his balcony, and the track is not short for this unexpected addition it is provided that the goal is right in front royal box at the Olympic Stadium (White City Stadium), to Queen Alexandra with the rest of his family could accompany entry marathon goal .
For the first seven Olympic marathon ran in six different lengths, from 40 to 42.7 km. Only since 1921. The International Association of Athletics Federations has accepted the separation of 42.195 as the standard distance, which is indicated in the IAAF's rules on competition (Rule 240).
The idea of an organized marathon was placed Michel Breal, who suggested that the race is put into the program of 1st Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. The idea was supported by Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Games, as organizers of the games themselves, the Greeks.
First marathon in history was not the one on the Games. The Greeks namely, organized earlier contested election for an Olympic event. At that first marathon was won by Charilaos Vasilakos in time 3 hours and 18 minutes. Spyridon, Spiros "Louis in the race was the fifth, but he later won the first Olympic marathon in a time of 2 hours, 58 minutes and 50 seconds. Women's marathon was introduced into the program of games much later, only after the Games in Los Angeles in 1984. The first Olympic champion in the marathon was Joan Benoit with a time 2:24:52. Benoit is still running, now the W50 category, still under 3 hours!
The marathon race was considered the beginning of the discipline intended only most ready athletes. However, the development of theory and practice, but the increasing popularity of recreational running, it turned out that with the proper preparation, run a marathon and not too challenging. Most athletic trainers today believe that there is no reason that any person, with the assumption that a healthy and invest in training a great deal of work and perseverance, can be relatively well and without fear of consequences (fatigue, injuries) do this race.
The classic training program for the marathon race takes four to six months. During this time the athlete is at least five times a week, running on sections from five to 20 miles per session, depending on the level of competition with the participation of the targeted result. The best athletes are slowly closer to the magic limit of two hours for the race, while the average for all recreational time under 4 hours is considered solid. In most marathons set limit of six hours, after which the track closes, and athletes received after that time are not included in the official listing.
Marathon race held today in large numbers in all the continents. For more famous marathons in Boston, New York, London, Berlin and Chicago, it is not uncommon to perform tens of thousands of competitors. Record the mass currently holds 100th Boston Marathon in 1996. year - started off the 38,965 runners, of which 35,868 finished the race. Then the organizer, to celebrate the centenary of yesterday's races, lifted the famous,, Boston norm. "
Each track in the marathon which is held by its specific configuration, so the results achieved on different paths sometimes impossible to compare. For this reason, sometime in the marathon race lead only to 'the world's best time' but no records, which are maintained only from 1 January 2004. year - that day So far the best of times and officially declared the world record. In men, the record is 2:04:55, and placed it on the race in Berlin, Paul Tergat of Kenya 28th September 2003. The interesting thing is that a second score of all time and has a pacemaker in the race, Sammy Korir, who came on for a second goal after winning Tergat.
In women, there are two records: one set in a race with the men when the pace increased competition, naturally faster, and record in a race in which only women participate and both hold the same athlete - Paula Radcliffe. The first record in the race with a mixed composition was recorded in a marathon in London on 13th April 2003. years, and was 2:15:25. Another record in the race exclusively female composition is 2:17:42, and the 17th run April 2005. year in the same place - in London, where he shares a marathon final set.