marathon 26,2 miles
A soldier in ancient Greece was running after a fierce battle 490 B.C. from Marathon to Athens. Not even in his wildest dreams, would he have thought about the impact he had on the running world centuries later. 1896 the marathon was born. In the Olympics 1896 the distance of the marathon was about 40 km. Investigations have shown that the original length of the trail was most probably 34 km to maximum 40 km, since the longer trail would have gone through the swamps and was very difficult do access.
Nowadays the distance is 42,195 km, and that is due to the British Royals. The start of the Olympic marathon 1908 was in front of the east terrace from Windsor castle, and the finish was to be the London White City stadium. The royals insisted the finish to be at the terrace of Windsor castle, and so the distance of 26,2 miles or 42,195 km was measured.
The reason why this distance became the standard for the future, was the exciting race in London, between the disqualified Italian Pietri and the official winner, the American Hayes. In the USA they wanted these two runners to run against each other and they chose the same distance again 26,2 miles.
In the fourth congress on the 27 of May 1921, the executive council of the IAAF in Geneva, declared 42,195 km the official distance. It was for the first time officially used in the Olympic games in Paris 1924. Smarana