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It is 100 years since the official marathon distance was set at 26 miles and 385 yards. This is equivalent to 42.192 kilometres. Distance standardized in 1921. The extra 385 yards came about at the 1908 London Olympics to improve the view of the finish line from the royal box in White City stadium

Pheidippedes was a Greek soldier, and the original marathon runner, who in an ancient legend ran 25.4 miles to deliver a message of victory against the Persians – from the town of Marathon to Athens Marathon running was one of the original events  in the Olympic games back in 1896. Dave Heeley was the third person to run 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents, and first blind person to do so. The last race in the series was the Flora London Marathon 2008.

There can be as many as 10,000 and more runners in today’s races There are more than 800 marathons run each year, worldwide 5 of the most famous are: London, New York, Boston, Chicago and Berlin. In Norway, a midnight-sun marathon is held at 70 degrees North Since 1980, the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has hosted a ‘man’ marathon, run over 22 miles. Humans have won the race only twice!

The marathon world record for men is 2 hours 4 minutes and 26 seconds, set by Ethiopian runner Haile Gebreselassie at the Berlin Marathon 2007. This averages out as 4 minutes, 45 seconds per mile. Paula Radcliffe holds the female marathon world record, at 2 hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds, won at the London Marathon 2003.

Runners often ‘hit a wall’ around the 18 or 20-mile mark, when their bodies have run out of glycogen stores. Glycogen is energy store of glucose mainly found in muscle cells

Have you tried Running for Charity?  Read about other runners experiences here!