SPORTS

Athletics

Marathon Marathon is the oldest athletics competition. It consists of a long race, where runners must reach 42,195 m. of distance.

This discipline tests the resistance of athletes, which is what pushes them forward so they can get to the finish line in the shortest time possible.

In the picture, there is a male athlete running on the marathon. They are wearing the Brazil uniform.

History of this sport

It is considered the oldest organized sport in the world. Its origin dates from the myth of the feat of the Greek soldier Phidippides, who collapsed from exhaustion and died after running from Marathon to Athens to announce the victory of Greece over Persia.

Marathon was part of the first Olympic Games of Ancient Greece, in 776 B.C. and it was also present at the first modern Games at Athens, 1896. Since then, it has remained within the Olympic programme, although women were only able to participate at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam.

But why 42,195 m? It is said that while the 1908 London Games were taking place, the Queen wanted to see the departure of the athletes from the royal palace. Therefore, she requested an extension of the distance -which at that time was 40 km- to see the athletes. Time after, the 42,195 m were ratified and set by the International Association of Athletics Federations, today World Athletics.

In the case of the Pan American Games, the marathon has been part of the programme since the 1951 Games in Buenos Aires, but at that time only men were allowed to participate. Women have been present since Indianapolis 1987. The Pan American medal table is led by Brazil with eight golds.

In the picture, there is a male athlete running on the marathon. They are wearing the Brazil uniform.

How do you compete?

At the beginning of the race, athletes must be placed according to the order assigned by the judges, always behind the starting line. They all must wait for the bang of the air gun that will indicate the beginning of the competition.

Athletes' clothing will include their surnames on the chest and the assigned number on the back. During the tour, the athletes have specific and authorized hydration points, where they can have drinks on the go provided by their teams and the Organizing Committee.

Quiz

In which edition of the Olympic Games was the women's competition added to the Olympic marathon?

Check answer

Information for the community

In Chile, race fans and athletes can participate in the Santiago Marathon https://maratondesantiago.com/, which has been held every year since 1990 and includes the 10 km, 21 km and 42,195 m categories. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event was canceled in 2020 and 2021, but its return is scheduled for May 8, 2022.

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