Many of you may watch or participate in marathon runs. The current distance of 26.2 miles was originally established in 1908. The prior marathon distance was 24.85 miles (40,000 meters), but was lengthened in 1908 at the Olympic games in London, England. It seems that the distance was lengthened so the race could be ran from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium in order to complete the race in front of the Royal Family’s viewing box. Oh, those Brits and their Monarchy! Today there still exists a tradition of shouting out “God Save the Queen” at the 24th mile.
The first modern Olympics were held in Greece in 1986. That was way before Greece was going to go bankrupt and they could afford the medals for the First, Second and Third place winners. At the first modern Olympics, the Greeks wanted to honor Pheidippides. Pheidippides was the man that ran from the battlefield city of Marathon back to Athens to deliver the message “Niki” (the Greek word for victory), in 490 BC. The Greeks had defeated the Persians and legend has it, Pheidippides ran 24.85 miles to announce the victory, then collapsed and died. Thus, setting precedent for dramatic conclusions to the Marathon.
To this day, the Marathon is the final event of the modern Olympic games and is the dramatic conclusion to the approximate two weeks of athletic events. In 1896, the Greeks held the first games and had yet to win a medal prior to the final event, the Marathon. The run was to finish in the newly constructed replica of the ancient Athens Stadium. There were a total of 25 runners that would leave Marathon Bridge, site of the 490BC victory, when the starting gun went off.
The first to cross the line was Spiridon Louis, a Greek postal worker. Perhaps going Postal in those days had an entirely different meaning. Spiridon had been in the Greek military and was very accustomed to long marches and was well-suited for the task. He finished in 2 hours, 58 minutes. When the run ended, 9 runners had lasted the full 24.85 miles and 8 of them were Greeks. The origins of the Olympic games had evolved from the ancient Greek traditions of athletic games and the first marathon was dominated by Greek athletes.
Today, a typical high-profile Marathon race attracts more than 3000 participants. The races have been dominated by Ethiopian runners for several decades and this event has become something of National pride for this African nation. Times for the race have gone down to the low 2 minute marks, and the finish is still a momentous occasion. Finishing a race at all can be considered a victory.
For those brave souls that run a marathon we know how much dedication and discipline it takes. We know that the training is a lonely venture and just being in the race is an honor. We like to think of ourselves as people who appreciate such accomplishments. Our ear buds are designed for people who run and love to challenge their bodies to overcome adversity.
Now make no mistake, we don’t want you to go run a Marathon and cry out “Niki” before falling over, dead! We might lose a good customer. So, to improve your run and live through it, why not try a pair of our ZIPPEARZ Ear Buds, recommended by many distance runners (click to see review). ZIPPEARZ wishes you the best of luck on your future Marathons.