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Marathon: Its History, Types, Distance, Records, Popular Events | All You Need To Know

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You must have read, listened, witnessed, or perhaps participated in marathon events. Yes, the marathon is a sporting event, but many times marathons do happen for some social cause or to raise awareness about some issue or anything which could help the entire community.

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At least for the people who take marathons as a recreational activity, it is just running from one point to another with hundreds and thousands of competitors. But as the marathon is a sporting event, it is more than just running, it has some rules and regulations which most of the common people are not aware of. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about a marathon.

History of marathon

Marathon: History | KreedOn
Image Source- Jagran Josh

To be honest, there are many theories and stories about the origin and history of the marathon. Everyone thinks their version is the true one and hence we will not get into details of those. But we can safely say that marathons have a history of thousands of years. It is said that the term marathon was first coined between 400 B.C to 300 B.C.

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What is a marathon?

Marathon: Its History, Types, Records, Popular Events | KreedOn
Image Source- Outside Online

The marathon is a long-distance foot race with a distance of 42.195 km usually run as a road race. In today’s world, most marathons happen on city roads. But that doesn’t mean a marathon cannot happen on trails. Thousands can participate in a marathon. Most of the participants are normal citizens who run in the marathon to have fun, while professional marathon runners do travel all around the world and they do run to win the medal.


Also Read | Top 10 Fastest Marathon Runners In The World


What is the distance of a marathon?

During the first few Olympic games, there wasn’t any predetermined distance for the marathon. But the distance between Marathon and Athens was roughly around 40 km.

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In 1907, the International Olympic Committee standardized the distance of 25 miles or 40 kilometers. As mentioned earlier, modern marathons have a distance of 42.195 km.

Marathon records

The current world record time for men is 2 hours 1 minute and 09 seconds, set in the Berlin Marathon by Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya on 25 September 2022.

The world record for women was set by Brigid Kosgei of Kenya in the Chicago Marathon on 13 October 2019, in 2 hours 14 minutes, and 4 seconds.

Top 10 marathon records for men

RankTimeAthlete
12:01:09Eliud Kipchoge (KEN)
22:01:41Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)
32:01:53Kelvin Kiptum (KEN)
42:02:48Birhanu Legese (ETH)
52:02:55Mosinet Geremew (ETH)
62:02:57Dennis Kipruto Kimetto (KEN)
Titus Ekiru (KEN)
82:03:00Evans Chebet (KEN)
Gabriel Geay (TAN)
102:03:04Lawrence Cherono (KEN)

Top 10 marathon records for women

RankTimeAthlete
12:14:04Brigid Kosgei (KEN)
22:14:18Ruth Chepng’etich (KEN)
32:14:58Amane Beriso (ETH)
42:15:25Paula Radcliffe (GBR)
52:15:37Tigist Assefa (ETH)
62:16:49Letesenbet Gidey (ETH)
72:17:01 WoMary Jepkosgei Keitany (KEN)
82:17:16Peres Jepchirchir (KEN)
92:17:20Almaz Ayana (ETH)
102:17:23 WoYalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH)

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What is a half marathon?

Half Marathon | KreedOn
Image Source- Half Marathon for beginners

Well, the name ‘half marathon’ is self-explanatory, isn’t it? It’s just a marathon with half the distance of a normal marathon. So, the distance of a half marathon is 21.0975 kilometers. Participation in half marathons has been growing steadily since 2003 as it does not require the same level of training and fitness levels that a normal marathon does. In 2008, Running USA reported that the half marathon is the fastest-growing type of race.

Top 10 half marathon records for men

RankTimeAthlete
157:31Jacob Kiplimo (UGA)
257:32Kibiwott Kandie (KEN)
357:49Rhonex Kipruto (KEN)
457:59Alexander Mutiso (KEN)
558:01Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN)
658:02Sabastian Sawe (KEN)
758:07Abel Kipchumba (KEN)
858:11Philemon Kiplimo (KEN)
958:23Zersenay Tadese (ERI)
1058:26Daniel Mateiko (KEN)

 Top 10 half marathon records for women

RankTimeAthlete
11:02:52 MxLetesenbet Gidey (ETH)
21:03:51 MxYalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH)
31:04:02 MxRuth Chepng’etich (KEN)
41:04:14 MxGirmawit Gebrzihair (ETH)
51:04:22 MxHellen Obiri (KEN)
61:04:31 MxAbabel Yeshaneh (ETH)
71:04:36 MxSheila Chepkirui (KEN)
81:04:37Irine Kimais (KEN)
91:04:46Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN)
101:04:49Brigid Kosgei (KEN)

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Popular marathons in India

Popular marathons in India | KreedOn
Image Source- HerZindagi

India has become a multisport nation and marathons have contributed in a big way. Marathon is considered as one of the best ways to make people of all classes and backgrounds come together. Most of the time in India, marathons are conducted to raise awareness about something, or these could be conducted simply to celebrate days like Independence Day or Republic Day.

Following are a few of the popular marathons in India which have been happening regularly for many years: –

  • Tata Mumbai Marathon
  • Kaveri Trail Marathon
  • Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
  • Goa River Marathon
  • Pinkathon
  • Vasai Virar Mayor’s Marathon
  • Ladakh Marathon
  • Run The Rann
  • Satara Hill Marathon

What is an ultra-marathon?

Image Source- Well+Good

Ultramarathon is any footrace of more than the normal marathon distance of 42km. Another type of ultra-marathon is based on duration. Generally, a certain duration of time is predetermined and the one who covers the longest distance in that particular duration wins this type of ultra-marathon.

The longest ultra-marathon in terms of distance is 1000 miles while in terms of duration is 6 days.

Which are the upcoming marathons in India?

  • Ladakh Marathon & Ultra scheduled on 7 September 2023.
  • Sarmang Dehradun Marathon scheduled on 8 October 2023.
  • Tata Consultancy Services World scheduled on 21 May 2023.
  • Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon scheduled on 15 October 2023.
  • Vedanta Pink City Half Marathon scheduled on 17 December 2023

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What is a marathon and how long is it?

A marathon event is a long-distance running race that covers a distance of 26.2 miles or 42.195 kilometers.

Do I need to be an experienced runner to participate in a marathon?

No, anyone can participate in a marathon. You need to be physically fit and have trained properly.

How long does it take to train for a marathon?

To train in marathon, you need to do around 16-20 weeks of dedicated training.

What should I eat before a marathon?

It’s important to eat a balanced meal before going to the marathon. The meal should include high carbohydrates and low fat and fiber. It provides your body with the necessary energy.

Can I walk during a marathon?

Many marathoners choose to walk for portions of the race, especially if it’s their first time running a marathon.

What should I do after completing a marathon?

After completing a marathon, it’s important to give your body a full rest to recover. Like light exercise & hydrating properly can also help with recovery.

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Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh’s love for Test cricket has no limits. He indulges himself in listening to experts talking about Test cricket. Saurabh absolutely loves the way Aussies play the game. He is quite new to football, but football fever has taken complete control of him. He is an ardent Bayern Munich fan. Saurabh loves to write about sports. Other than sports, he is a voracious reader, a fitness freak, loves physics, loves to stay away from social media, and a Mechanical Engineer too!

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