‘Marathon’- The Liberating Run

Updated: Jul 19

Running is always done for a cause. That cause may be self or someone else. There are countless heart-warming stories chained to the marathon.

Marathon is a long-distance race that covers a distance of 26 miles and 385 yards. This foot race is held each year in every country across the globe.

The marathon got sprouted from ‘The battle of Marathon’- a Greco-Persian war fought back in 490 B.C.

According to the mythical tale, to celebrate the victory of the Athens army, their best soldier cum runner Pheidippides was sent back to Athens to deliver the good news. He ran an exhausting distance of 25 miles (40 km) only to collapse on his day of arrival and die.

The first marathon run held as an Olympic event was in 1896. To run 25 miles in a stretch, the Marathon is one tough race!!

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Celebration of Marathon across the globe

The World Marathon Major (WMM) - is a championship-style tournament introduced in 2006. It is an event held annually only for marathon runners.

The WMM is a pool of 6 major marathon events:

  • New York Marathon

  • Chicago Marathon

  • London Marathon

  • Berlin Marathon

  • Boston Marathon

  • Tokyo Marathon

Two more internationally renowned events are:

  • Olympic Marathon

  • IAAF World Championship

A total of 5 standard types of marathon runs exist viz., ‘6.21 miles run’, ‘26.2 miles- Marathon’, ‘13.1 miles - Half-marathon’, ‘Ultramarathon - 26.2+ miles’ and ‘Stage Races’.

Let us begin with the 10 km (6.21 miles) - it is a great benchmark to kick start long-distance running training. It gives a better understanding of the present physical state of the body and the improvement it requires.

To enter the realms of - Marathon, Half-marathon and Ultramarathon, one must train seriously for an insane period to build up some psychological and physical attributes. Having a proper understanding and training is a must in long-distance running.

To run in a stretch, one must have a good endurance level, stamina, leg strength and other criteria to meet.

Of course, not all participants in a marathon are there to compete. Some participants take 6-7 hrs to finish the race, a few finish at an average of 4-5 hours, while the elites wrap up the race in less than 4 hours. The time required to reach the finish line varies according to participants.

The Stage Race is a multiple-day event, an adventurous experience for runners to explore off-beat-tracks. It is a consecutive run with weights (body weight + equipment) testing your strength and stamina. The event is a great way to prepare for long-distance running.

Celebration of Marathon in India

In India, there are several marathons held across the country. It has proved to be a healthy initiative to be part of a community, to raise awareness about fitness and the contributions each can make socially.

Here are a few foot races held in India:

  • Tata Mumbai Marathon (TMM)

  • Kaveri Trail Marathon

  • Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

  • Goa River Marathon

  • Auroville Marathon

  • Pinkathon

  • Vasai Virar Mayor’s Marathon

  • Ladakh Marathon

  • Run the Rann

From the first edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon, 2004 to date, the nation has seen a tremendous boom in participants in distance running. In 2020, a recorded line-up of 55000 runners joined for a cause - #BeBetter.

Across the nation, men-women, old-young, and people from every social group are becoming aware of distance running and taking part in this hype. Although it is a late start compared to the western marathon history, the nation has no intention of sitting still or going slow.

Marathon Fun Facts: