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Marathon running

The world record for running a marathon has just been smashed by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in Berlin’s marathon at a time of 2 hours 2 minutes and 57 seconds. This is 26 seconds faster than ever before. The IAAF world record for women still stands at 2:15:25, set by Paula Radcliffe on April 13, 2003 at the London Marathon.

The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 km (26 miles and 385 yards), usually run as a road race. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens.

The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 500 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes as larger marathons can have tens of thousands of participants.

The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon (in which he had just fought), which took place in August or September, 490 BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming "we have won", before collapsing and dying.

I have said in previous articles, that my wife and I like to set ourselves challenges each year. This year was our 54 mile TrekFest in 24 hours and 2015 our challenge is the Liverpool Rock and Roll Marathon, taking place on 14 June. The Rock and Roll series is the biggest running series in the world, and what makes these runs even more exciting is that at each mile there are live bands and music to keep you going. So the new world record is safe until 2015!!!

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