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
Two more internationally renowned events are:
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
Vasai Virar Mayor’s 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:
Running is a super fun activity.
Check out some fun facts associated with Marathon:
As per a standard view, 2620 calories get burnt in a marathon.
Men’s world record is held by Dennis Kimetto (Kenya), with a finish time of 2:02:57
Women’s world record is held by Paula Radcliffe at London Marathon, with a finish time of 2:15:25
The oldest participant in a marathon - Fauja Singh(age 92), set a record of 5:40:00 completion time for the 90+ age category, Toronto Waterfront Marathon, 2003.
Boris Fyodorov ran his first solo foot race at -38C in Oymyakon, 2014, with a record time of 5 hours and 8 minutes.
A stretch of 50,000 steps in a marathon can make you 0.5 inches shorter.
In 2007, 3 runners ran 4000 miles (2 marathons/day for 111 days) covering the Sahara.
Here’s the takeaway for you
You must practice on trail routes before entering the event officially. Why? That is because preparation is always the efficient way to go about things.
A better understanding of your current fitness level will help you with your training. Distance running is not about competing against anyone; it is a race against self.
Marathon running can be considered an exuberant feeling to all. For some, it is a commitment, a social contribution, and for a few others, it is a serious consideration of a hobby.
It is a great way to be a part of social groups, awareness causes, get fit and bond with nature. The marathon runners are similar to a flock of birds flying to be free.
Marathon is a liberating experience of self-discovery and discipline in life; often considered to be a humbling feeling and a rooting experience!!