History of Marathon

      The Marathon is a long distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers (26 miles and 385 yards or 26-7/32 miles) and it is usually run as a road race. The marathon event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier, Pheidippides; a messenger from the battlefield at Marathon who delivered news of the war to Athens that the Persians had been defeated. The sport of the marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 600 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes who participate in smaller marathons. However, larger marathons attract thousands of professional runners from around the world, which has enabled the sport to grow in popularity.