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# How was the Olympic standard for the marathon fixed at exactly 26 miles and 385 yards?

Question #77669. Asked by youngirishpsychologi. (Mar 22 07 2:12 PM)

Eolena

That specific length was used first in the 1908 Olympics. That year the Olympics were in London and the marathon started at Windsor Castle. To have the finish line be in front of the Royal Family's viewing box at the Olympic Arena, the marathon length was set at 26 miles and 385 yards (26.22 miles or 42.195 km).

However, at the next Olympics in 1912, the marathon was 24.98 miles and in 1920 it was 20.56 miles.

In 1921, the International Amateur Athletic Federation adopted the 26 miles and 385 yards (26.22 miles or 42.195 km) length for the race and it has been used in every Olympics from 1924 to date.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon_(sport)

 Mar 22 07, 2:26 PM
queproblema

Well, it's based on poor Pheidippides' run in 490 BCE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheidippides

 Mar 22 07, 3:05 PM
Historyrepeats

The Persians decided to fight the Athenians a couple of weeks before they attacked the three hundred spartans at Thermopylae. The Athenians were not expected to win and the victory was a triumph. The loss to the Athenians made the King, who was then Xerxes father, furious, but he did not attack again and eventually died. The victory was a great accomplishment and the soldiers wanted the Athenians to know right away that they had succeeded. For this they chose the messenger Pheidippides. The distance from the battlegrounds of Marathon to Athens was 26.2 miles or 42.195km. When Pheidippides reached the town he screamed out "victory" in Greek and fell dead from exhaustion.

 Mar 22 07, 10:43 PM

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