Gather around kids, as I tell you the story of how the Marathon got it’s name.
Place: Ancient Greece
Date: 490 B.C.
Who: The Persian Empire vs. The Greeks.
The Persian empire invaded Greece, beginning the lengthy Greco-Persian Wars. Story has it that the Battle of Marathon resulted in the Greek army defeating the Persians, who were not only greater in number, but expected to win due to their fighting prowess and street cred. This would be a turning point in the Persian Wars.
Legend has it that upon news of the win, a messenger, Pheidippides, was sent to run from the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens, Greece bringing news of a Greek victory over the Persians. Pheidippides ran the miraculous 26 miles and as he delivered the message he collapsed and died.
So, to clarify. The marathon which was created nearly 2,000 years later, at the 1896 Olympic games, commemorates a dude DYING after running the distance of the marathon. While I will never understand why anyone would want to run a race that basically is saying, if you do this, legend has it you will die, I completely understand the underlying message of this story. It’s perseverance people! In the face of adversity!
Congratulations to all of you that participated in the New York City Marathon. What an amazing life accomplishment.
For now I’ll stick with 5Ks. Maybe, just maybe, one day I will have the cajones of every amazing marathoner out there.
Here’s to buzzfeed for putting together this sweet list as well (click me)