Earlier today, while knocking out an 8k rowing session, I saw a bit on CNN talking about people running a marathon inside Yankee stadium to raise money for cancer research. An entire marathon being run in such a small space? Fascinating.
The only problem was that they weren’t actually running a marathon. They were running a 5k. Hmmm. Apparently the good folks at CNN think that the term marathon means “running a distance longer than the talking head on TV is capable of running.”
Believe it or not, a marathon is a race of a specific length – 26 miles and 385 yards (26.2 miles), to be exact. The modern marathon was inspired by the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, who ran from the Battle of Marathon (the namesake of the race) to Athens to announce that that Persians had been defeated.
As the story goes, Pheidippides ran the entire distance without stopping, delivered his message, and then collapsed and died. And that, my friends, is why I’ve never run a marathon… Because the first guy to do so died as a result.