What is a marathon?
It is a question that is asked more often than you might imagine.
As much as we might love running, and the sport as a whole, it is important to remind ourselves that not everyone has found the same joy...yet.
You may have even heard people say that they were going to be running a "5k marathon."
We don't get as irked by hearing that phrasing as we once did. Now, it is a great opportunity to learn more about someone's goals, and about why they enjoy running.
Technically, when people refer to the marathon distance, they're talking about 26.2 miles.
It is now globally recognized as the official distance, though it wasn't always that way.
The marathon commemorates the running of Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, from Marathon, Greece, to Athens, a distance of nearly 26 miles.
He completed his run, where he then proclaimed victory in battle, prior to then passing away.
It's a bit of a wonder why anyone attempted that same distance, knowing what happened to Pheidippides. The odds, at that point, wouldn't have seemed to have been in their favor.
What!? Yup, you heard us right.
As the marathon began to transition into more regular competition, the race distance was extended to nearer the now official 26.2 miles so that the finish line would best match up with the viewing box of the royal family in the 1908 London Olympics.
As organizing bodies for sport and athletics took hold, this became the official distance.
As time has gone on, and the marathon distance has experienced increasing popularity, it is now run almost everywhere imaginable.
No longer just run on roads, the race is run on trails, on mountains, and even on all 7 continents in 7 days as part of the World Marathon Challenge.
The stars have not aligned themselves yet for us to take on that challenge, though we are definitely not ruling it out of our future goals!
One race that we did love, and was a great challenge, was the Pikes Peak Marathon. In the picture here, you'll see our view prior to the race's beginning of the starting line and of the mountain's peak far in the distance.
We can't wait to return to Colorado and to Manitou Springs one day for both the race, and to enjoy the community.
Available on Amazon (affiliate link).
Now that you have an answer to the question, "what is a marathon?" we'd love to hear about your marathon goals.
Do you have a marathon on your running calendar already?
Will it be your first, or are you an experienced marathon runner?
Do you have a time goal? Or, are you just hoping to make it to the finish line?
We can't wait to read all about your running journey!