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Q.

Why is a marathon race exactly 26 miles and 385 yards long?

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Asked by Shan Real, 06 Nov '09 12:00 am
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Answers (5)

 
1.

The 1896 Olympic marathon distance was 24.8 miles. This was the first modern Olympics, which took place in Athens Greece. According to a famous Greek legend, a Greek foot-soldier (thought by many to be Pheidippides) was sent from the plains of Marathon to Athens with the news that an army of Athenian hoplites had fought and driven off the vastly larger invading Persian army. As he approached the leaders of the city-state of Athens, he staggered and exclaimed, "Rejoice! We Conquer!" and then collapsed and died. The distance from the plains of Marathon to Athens is 24.8 miles.
The marathon distance was later changed as a result of the 1908 Olympic Games in London, England. That year, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria requested that the marathon begin at Windsor Castle (20 miles west of central London), so that the Royal family could view the start. The course distance between the castle and the Olympic Stadium in London was 26 miles. Event organizers added an extra 385 yards around t ...more
Answered by Shikha Aggarwal, 06 Nov '09 07:57 pm

 
  
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2.

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 in London. At a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in The Hague in May 1907 it was agreed with the British Olympic Association 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 and finishing at the Olympic Stadium, the Great White City Stadium in Shepherd's Bush 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. This lengthened the route, as did plans to make the start 700 y ...more
Answered by Pardeep kapoor, 06 Nov '09 12:08 am

 
  
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3.

That was the distance between the from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. This distance was covered by the a greek soldier called er Pheidippides as a messenger.
Answered by Krish Dey, 06 Nov '09 12:04 am

 
  
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4.

Mount Penteli stands between Marathon and Athens, which means that, if Pheidippides 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 most 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 and Penteli, and then mildly downhill to Athens proper. This route is approximately 42 kilometres (26 mi) and set the standard for the distance as run in the modern age. 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, and then a straight southward downhill path to Athens. This route is considerably shorter, some 35 kilometres (22 mi), but features a ...more
Answered by Arshad Khan, 06 Nov '09 12:02 am

 
  
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5.

The name, "marathon", comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, who was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been miraculously defeated in the Battle of Marathon. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping, but moments after proclaiming his message to the city he collapsed dead from exhaustion.

There are two roads out of the battlefield of Marathon towards Athens, one more mountainous towards the north whose distance is about 21.4 miles (34.5 km), and another flatter but longer towards the south with a distance of 25.4 miles (40.8 km). It has been successfully argued that the ancient runner took the more difficult northern road because at the time of the battle there were still Persian soldiers in the south of the plain.

In modern times, the choice of distance for different so-called marathon races was somewhat arbitrary. The first modern Olympics in 1896 had a marathon distance of 24.85 miles (40 km). Before t ...more
Answered by kamal purohit, 06 Nov '09 12:02 am

 
  
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