What is the Significance of the Battle of Marathon?

What is the Significance of the Battle of Marathon?


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Few battles fought 2,500 years ago are important enough to be commemorated by an Olympic event (and a chocolate bar), Marathon had assumed a foremost place of importance in the history of the west.

Throughout history its significance and symbolism has been frequently cited – the first time that a democratic and “free” state – the nucleus of all traditionally western ideas, defeated a despotic eastern invader and preserved its unique traditions that would one day be adopted around the world. Though the reality is perhaps more complex, it’s likely that Marathon’s fame will last for centuries more to come.

Persia

The background of the battle is dominated by the rise of the Persian Empire – which is often described as the world’s first superpower. By 500 BC it had come to cover a huge swathe of territory from India to the Greek city-states of western Turkey, and its ambitious ruler Darius I had aims at further expansion.

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Like the Roman Empire, the Persian was religiously tolerant and allowed rule by local elites to continue relatively uninhibited, but in this early stage (its founder, Cyrus the Great, had died in 530) rebellions were still common. The most serious occurred in Ionia – the western part of Turkey, where the Greek city-states threw off their Persian satraps and declared themselves democracies in response to a Persian-backed attack on the independent city of Naxos.

In this they were inspired by the democratic example of Athens, which was tied to many of the old Ionian cities through past wars and intrigues, and by a close cultural bond as many of the Ionian cities had been founded by Athenian colonists. In response to Ionian pleas and Persian arrogance in their diplomacy, the Athenians and the Eritreans sent small task forces to aid the revolt, which saw some initial success before being brutally put down by the might of Darius’ armies.

After the sea battle at Lade in 494 BC, the war was all but over, but Darius had not forgotten the impudence of the Athenians in aiding his foes.

The vast Persian Empire in 490 BC.

Revenge

According to the great historian Herodotus, who almost certainly spoke to survivors of the Persian wars, the impudence of Athens became an obsession for Darius, who allegedly charged a slave with telling him “master, remember the Athenians” three times every day before dinner.

The first Persian expedition into Europe began in 492, and managed to subjugate Thrace and Macedon to Persian rule, though heavy storms prevented Darius’ fleet from making further inroads into Greece. He was not to be put off however, and two years later another powerful force, under his brother Artaphernes and and admiral Datis, set sail. This time, rather than going for Greece through the north, the fleet headed due west through the Cyclades, finally conquering Naxos along the way before arriving on mainland Greece in mid-summer.

The first stage of Darius’ plan of revenge, the burning and humiliation of Athen’s partner in supporting the Ionian revolt – Eretria – was achieved quickly, leaving his foremost enemy alone to withstand the might of the Persian Empire.

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A city against a superpower

Artaphernes’ army was accompanied by Hippias, the former tyrant of Athens who had been ousted at the beginning of the city’s transition into democracy and had fled to the Persian court. His advice was to land the Persian troops at the bay of Marathon, which was a good spot for a landing just a day’s march away from the city.

The command of the Athenian army, meanwhile, was entrusted to ten different generals – each representing one of the ten tribes that made up the citizen body of the city-state – under the loose leadership of the Polymarch Callimachus.

It is the general Miltiades, however, who emerged out of Marathon with the greatest fame. He had grown up as a Greek vassal of Darius in Asia, and had already tried to sabotage his forces by destroying an important bridge during the Great King’s retreat from an earlier campaign in Scythia, before turning on him during the Ionian revolt. After defeat, he had been forced to flee and take his military skill to Athens, where he was more experienced at fighting the Persians than any other leader.

Miltiades then advised the Athenian army to move swiftly to block the two exits from the bay of Marathon – this was a risky move, for the force of 9,000 under Callimachus’ command was the everything the city had, and if the Persians brought them to battle with their much larger army at Marathon and won then the city would be completely exposed, and likely to suffer the same fate as Eretria.

This helmet, inscribed with the name of Miltiades, was given by him as an offering to the God Zeus at Olympia to give thanks for victory. Credit: Oren Rozen / Commons.

Help did come from an unexpected source, the tiny city-state of Plataea, which sent another 1000 men to reinforce the Athenians, who then sent Pheidippides, the best runner in the city, to contact the Spartans, who would not come for another week, by which time their sacred festival of the Carneia would be done.

Meanwhile, an uneasy stalemate prevailed in the bay of Marathon for five days, with neither side wanting to begin the battle. It was in the Athenian’s interest to wait for Spartan help, while the Persians were wary of attacking the fortified Athenian camp and of risking battle too soon against a relatively unknown quantity.

The size of their army is harder to guess, but even the most conservative of modern historians place it at around 25,000, skewing the odds in their favour. They were, however, more lightly armed than the Greeks, who fought in armour and wielding long pikes in a tight phalanx formation, while Persian troops put more of an emphasis on light cavalry and skill with the bow.

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The Battle of Marathon

On the fifth day, the battle began, despite the lack of Spartan help. There are two theories why; one is that the Persians re-embarked their cavalry to take the Greeks in the rear, thus giving Miltiades – who was always urging Callimachus to be more aggressive – an opportunity to attack while the enemy were weaker.

The other is simply that the Persians tried to attack, and when Militiades saw them advancing he ordered his own troops forward in order to wrestle back the initiative. The two are not mutually exclusive, and it is also possible that the Persian infantry advance was planned in tandem with the flanking move of the cavalry. What is certain is that finally, on 12 September 490 BC, the battle of Marathon began.

An idea of some of the troop types that Darius and Artaphernes might have had under their command. The Immortals were the best of the Persian infantry. Credit: Pergamon Museum / Commons.

When the distance between the two armies was narrowed to around 1500 metres, Miltiades gave the order for the centre of the Athenian line to be thinned to just four ranks, before continuing his men’s advance against the much larger Persian army.

In order to limit the effectiveness of the Persian archers, he gave his heavily armoured troops the order to run once they were close enough , crying “at them!” The Persians were astonished by this wall of spear-carrying armoured men coming towards them at full pelt, and their arrows did little damage.

The collision when it came was brutal, and the heavier Greek soldiers came off by far the better. The Persians had placed their best men in the centre but their flanks consisted of poorly armed levies, while the Greek left was commanded in person by Callimachus, and the right was overseen by Arimnestos, the leader of the Plataeans.

It was here that the battle was won, as the levies were crushed, leaving the Greek flanks free to turn on the Persian center, which was enjoying success against the thinner Athenian line in the middle.

Heavy Greek infantry were known as Hoplites. They were trained to run in full armour, and the Hoplite race was one of the events in the early Olympic games.

Now surrounded on all sides, the elite Persian troops broke and ran, and many drowned in the local swamps in a desperate attempt to flee. More fled to their ships, and though the Athenians were able to capture seven as the desperate men clambered aboard, most got away. It was here that Callimachus was killed in the mad rush to catch the Persians, and according to one account his body was pierced by so many spears that it remained upright even in death.

Despite the death of their commander, the Greeks had won a stunning victory for very minor losses. While thousands of Persians lay dead on the field, Herodotus reports only 192 Athenians and 11 Plataeans killed (though the true figure might be closer to 1000.)

The Persian fleet then moved out of the bay to attack Athens directly, but seeing Miltiades and his troops already there they gave up and returned to the furious Darius. Marathon did not end the wars against Persia, but was the first turning point in establishing the success of the Greek, and specifically Athenian way, which would eventually give rise to all western culture as we know it. Thus, according to some, Marathon is the most important battle in history.


Learn about the history of the Battle of Marathon, 490 B.C.

NARRATOR: 490 B.C. - The Battle of Marathon is about to take place. The Greeks get their men in position. Their army, estimated at 10,000 soldiers, is well equipped and sure of itself. They stop the Persians from advancing, with soldiers coming from all walks of life. The result: a stalemate, with the Persians outnumbering the Greeks eight to one. A shroud of dismay hangs over the small Athenian army, who have but a tiny window of opportunity to strike. They send Athens's greatest runner to ask the Spartan army to come to their aid. The runner has nearly 140 miles of ground to cover, and time is of the essence.

At Marathon, the Persian camp begins to lose its focus. The army sends its horsemen back to the ships, while the rest of the soldiers holding the position seem unfazed by the Athenian army and take it easy. Meanwhile, the Athenian messenger arrives in Sparta in just two days and asks the army for assistance. The Spartans agree to help, but require several days before they'll be able to march on Marathon. Back at the Athenian camp, the army is getting restless. The Persians are clearly fatigued and seeing as they have no horsemen - they don't have the advantage after all. The Athenians see their moment to strike.

DR. WOLFGANG HAMETER: "They went for it and marched in on the Persians. They refused to surrender."

NARRATOR: The Athenians begin to attack. They march forward irrespective of casualties. The Persians are caught off guard. So much so, they can't even manage to draw their bows. Despite their extreme numerical advantage, the Persians are overpowered and surrounded by the Athenians. Those that can, run back towards the ships. The battle is long over by the time the messenger returns from Sparta, but the soldiers are nonetheless pleased. They have emerged from combat victorious, even without the pledged aid of the Spartans.

DAVID SCAHILL: "We only have the numbers to go by that were given and that is that 6,400 Persians were killed and only 192 Athenians. So in the end, this is a real route for the Athenians.

NARRATOR: What happened next is the stuff of legend. The messenger is said to have run another 26 miles to Athens to warn his people of a Persian counterstrike. The Athenian army had begun to march back home, doing its best to get there before the Persians. As the story goes, the messenger was the first to arrive and announced to his people: "Rejoice! We were victorious!" whereupon he promptly died of exhaustion.

In all likelihood, the Athenian army did indeed arrive before the Persian armada, just in time to see the Persian ships turn away from Athens. To this day, running a marathon is considered a great feat of endurance, perseverance and inner strength.


Marathon distance becomes 26.2 miles

For the 1908 London Olympic games marathon the distance was changed to 26 miles so that the event could finish in front of the royal box. It took another 16 years before the distance of 26.2 miles was introduced, with the 1924 Paris Olympics being the first to hold the now official marathon distance.

Since those days the marathon has progressed into a dash for the line by the elite athletes with the time taken to complete the distance continually tumbling.


The Significance of Thermopylae: Why We Ought to Thank the Spartans for the Constitution, Chick-fil-a, and Capitalism

The year is 480. Three hundred Spartans, joined by a small force of Greeks, defend the mountain pass of Thermopylae against the invading Persians. If the 300 Spartans had stayed home and if Persians had won the Greco-Persian Wars, the Western concept of freedom most likely would not exist. Authoritarian monarchy would have been the norm, and it would have taken a group of people much like the Spartans to champion again values like protection, free will, and freedom over imperialism, coercion, and authoritarianism. Of course, such a defense could have happened, but it might have been harder knowing that the Spartans and other Greeks defending freedom at the Battles of Thermopylae, Salamis, and Platea had not been able to do it.

Although the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. happened about one hundred years before the great philosopher and defender of freedom Aristotle was born, the Greeks still had a concept of defending the city-state, the polis. A plethora of poleis existed throughout Greece since about the eighth century B.C. Each city-state zealously guarded its autonomy, desiring the freedom to live according to its own dictates, not another city-state’s, or more importantly, authoritarian regime’s, opinions. While the governments of poleis sometimes differed (Athens had a democracy while Sparta had an oligarchy) and even fought against one another, almost all the Greek city-states did agree in at least one aspect: the Persians were authoritarian, had no concept of freedom, enslaved its people, and must be defeated. Thus, even though Aristotle had not yet described the Greek ideal of freedom, all the city-states defended their independence against enemies foreign and domestic, particularly in the case of the Battle of Thermopylae.


Spartans hold back Persian forces at Anopaea, a single-file pass near Thermopylae.

This great battle in 480 happened during the Greco-Persian Wars in which King Xerxes of Persia was attempting to gain more territory. A group of Greeks, including Spartans, Athenians, and others, banded together to fight against the Persian menace. In order to achieve hegemony over the Greek mainland, Xerxes planned to attack by land and by sea. The loose coalition of Hellenes (ancient Greeks) identified the mountain pass of Thermopylae and the cape of Artemisium as the key defense land-and-sea points respectively and sent a conglomeration of Greeks headed by King Leonidas of Sparta to protect Thermopylae. Because the Olympic games were occurring at the same time as the expected Persian invasion, the Greek alliance sent only a small advance guard. Leonidas sent the local contingent to defend Anopaea, a single-file pass near Thermopylae, while the 300 Spartans and others remained on the narrow, yet somewhat larger pass of Thermopylae. The Persian assault began on August 17 and lasted for three days before the Persians finally killed the 298 Spartans who had defended the mountain pass with another small Greek contingent of roughly three to four thousand men. Before the Spartans and others died, however, they had slain twenty thousand Persians.

While the Battle of Thermopylae was technically a defeat for the Greek coalition, it was also a conquest. It marked the beginning of several important Greek victories against the Persians and represented a morale shift among the Greeks. Even though almost all of the 300 Spartans (two men had defected) had died, they had fought vigorously and valiantly, refusing to merely submit to the Persians. Encouraged by such Spartan actions, the other surviving Greeks fought with greater dynamism against the Persians. Although the Greeks finally beat the Persians in the Battle of Platea in 479 B.C., thus ending the Greco-Persian Wars, many scholars attribute the eventual Greek success over the Persians to the Spartans’ defense at Thermopylae. Had the Spartans and other later Greek armies fled in fear, it is likely that a Persian victory would have promoted imperialism over protection, coercion over free will, and authoritarianism over freedom.

By its very nature, the Persian Empire was expansionistic. Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes, and other Persian kings all wanted to expand the influence of Persia throughout the known world. The Greeks, on the other hand, desired to protect the land they owned against invaders. Until Alexander the Great of Macedonia, they did not yearn for a world empire the Greeks enjoyed their small poleis and the freedom they had in each one to select a government for the area, such as Athens’ democratic system (although still different from today’s democracies) and Sparta’s oligarchy. If the Persians had been victorious in the Greco-Persian Wars, the Persians might have created the first world empire and required Greek city-states to submit to the Persian monarchy, not allowing the ideas of democracy and freedom to flourish. Although the Persians showed more clemency than other ancient empires like the Assyrians, governors accountable to the king ruled the different regions or satrapies. While the Greeks could have kept their customs and religion, it would have been more challenging to maintain their unique governments since the Greek satrapies would be required to pay taxes to the Persian Empire. Rather than existing as separate entities, the Greek poleis would have been absorbed by the invasive Persian government.

As a part of this empire, the Persians would have emphasized coercion over free will. As historian Paul Cartledge observes, Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, recounts how the Persian King Xerxes drove his men into battle with whips while the Greeks fought of their own free will: “[The Spartans] did not have to be whipped to make them fight with all their might. . . Whips were only for slaves, not free men they were appropriate for a barbarian master to use on his slave subjects, but out of the question for the citizen soldiers of a free Greek polis.” If the Persians had won, the king would have whipped the Greeks to make them fight, rather than allowing the Greeks to decide on their own to defend the ideal of freedom. Such an action would have turned the Greeks into barbarians and slaves instead of freemen, thus eliminating the distinction between the Greek poleis and the Persian Empire.

In fact, the Greeks might even change their understanding of key virtues like freedom since they would be treated like slaves. Instead of learning about freedom, the Greeks would discover authoritarianism where the king’s will trumps the desires of anyone else. In his book Thermopylae, Cartledge references the contrasting language that Herodotus uses to describe the Greeks and Persians: “Since Sparta’s system stood for freedom, it follows that the Great King’s stood for slavery.” If the Persians had won, the Greeks would have grown to accept what they formerly defined as slavery as freedom. The ideals that motivated the Spartans to fight against the Persians at Thermopylae would have died under the Persians.

Americans can thank the Greeks, and especially the Spartans, for things they love and sometimes take for granted like the Constitution, Chick-fil-a, and capitalism. Had the Spartans not stood up, there may not have been enough freedom-loving Greeks left to defend against the Persians. As the renegade Spartan Demaratos tells King Xerxes before the battle in Herodotus’s The Histories, “Now know this: if you subjugate these [Spartan] men and those who have remained behind in Sparta, there is no other race of human beings that will be left to raise their hands against you. For you are now attacking the most noble kingdom of all the Hellenes, and the best of men.”


Sources

Larry H. Addington, The Patterns of War through the Eighteenth Century (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1990).

Peter Green, The Greco-Persian Wars (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).

Herodotus, The Histories, translated by W. Blanco and J. Roberts (New York: Norton, 1992).

Malcolm F. McGregor, The Athenians and Their Empire (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1987).

Russell Meiggs, The Athenian Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972).

Richard A. Preston, and others, Men in Arms: A History of Warfare and Its Interrelationships with Western Society (Fort Worth, Tex.: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1991).


Contents

The first Persian invasion of Greece had its immediate roots in the Ionian Revolt, the earliest phase of the Greco-Persian Wars. However, it was also the result of the longer-term interaction between the Greeks and Persians. In 500 BC the Persian Empire was still relatively young and highly expansionistic, but prone to revolts amongst its subject peoples. [7] [8] [9] Moreover, the Persian King Darius was a usurper, and had spent considerable time extinguishing revolts against his rule. [7] Even before the Ionian Revolt, Darius had begun to expand the empire into Europe, subjugating Thrace, and forcing Macedon to become a vassal of Persia. [10] Attempts at further expansion into the politically fractious world of ancient Greece may have been inevitable. [8] However, the Ionian Revolt had directly threatened the integrity of the Persian empire, and the states of mainland Greece remained a potential menace to its future stability. [11] Darius thus resolved to subjugate and pacify Greece and the Aegean, and to punish those involved in the Ionian Revolt. [11] [12]

The Ionian Revolt had begun with an unsuccessful expedition against Naxos, a joint venture between the Persian satrap Artaphernes and the Milesian tyrant Aristagoras. [13] In the aftermath, Artaphernes decided to remove Aristagoras from power, but before he could do so, Aristagoras abdicated, and declared Miletus a democracy. [13] The other Ionian cities followed suit, ejecting their Persian-appointed tyrants, and declaring themselves democracies. [13] [14] Aristagoras then appealed to the states of mainland Greece for support, but only Athens and Eretria offered to send troops. [15]

The involvement of Athens in the Ionian Revolt arose from a complex set of circumstances, beginning with the establishment of the Athenian Democracy in the late 6th century BC. [15]

In 510 BC, with the aid of Cleomenes I, King of Sparta, the Athenian people had expelled Hippias, the tyrant ruler of Athens. [16] With Hippias's father Peisistratus, the family had ruled for 36 out of the previous 50 years and fully intended to continue Hippias's rule. [16] Hippias fled to Sardis to the court of the Persian satrap, Artaphernes and promised control of Athens to the Persians if they were to help restore him. [17] In the meantime, Cleomenes helped install a pro-Spartan tyranny under Isagoras in Athens, in opposition to Cleisthenes, the leader of the traditionally powerful Alcmaeonidae family, who considered themselves the natural heirs to the rule of Athens. [18] Cleisthenes, however, found himself being politically defeated by a coalition led by Isagoras and decided to change the rules of the game by appealing to the demos (the people), in effect making them a new faction in the political arena. This tactic succeeded, but the Spartan King, Cleomenes I, returned at the request of Isagoras and so Cleisthenes, the Alcmaeonids and other prominent Athenian families were exiled from Athens. When Isagoras attempted to create a narrow oligarchic government, the Athenian people, in a spontaneous and unprecedented move, expelled Cleomenes and Isagoras. [19] Cleisthenes was thus restored to Athens (507 BC), and at breakneck speed began to reform the state with the aim of securing his position. The result was not actually a democracy or a real civic state, but he enabled the development of a fully democratic government, which would emerge in the next generation as the demos realized its power. [20] The new-found freedom and self-governance of the Athenians meant that they were thereafter exceptionally hostile to the return of the tyranny of Hippias, or any form of outside subjugation, by Sparta, Persia, or anyone else. [19]

Cleomenes was not pleased with events, and marched on Athens with the Spartan army. [21] Cleomenes's attempts to restore Isagoras to Athens ended in a debacle, but fearing the worst, the Athenians had by this point already sent an embassy to Artaphernes in Sardis, to request aid from the Persian empire. [22] Artaphernes requested that the Athenians give him an 'earth and water', a traditional token of submission, to which the Athenian ambassadors acquiesced. [22] They were, however, severely censured for this when they returned to Athens. [22] At some later point Cleomenes instigated a plot to restore Hippias to the rule of Athens. This failed and Hippias again fled to Sardis and tried to persuade the Persians to subjugate Athens. [23] The Athenians dispatched ambassadors to Artaphernes to dissuade him from taking action, but Artaphernes merely instructed the Athenians to take Hippias back as tyrant. [15] The Athenians indignantly declined, and instead resolved to open war with Persia. [23] Having thus become the enemy of Persia, Athens was already in a position to support the Ionian cities when they began their revolt. [15] The fact that the Ionian democracies were inspired by the example the Athenians had set no doubt further persuaded the Athenians to support the Ionian Revolt, especially since the cities of Ionia were originally Athenian colonies. [15]

The Athenians and Eretrians sent a task force of 25 triremes to Asia Minor to aid the revolt. [24] Whilst there, the Greek army surprised and outmaneuvered Artaphernes, marching to Sardis and burning the lower city. [25] This was, however, as much as the Greeks achieved, and they were then repelled and pursued back to the coast by Persian horsemen, losing many men in the process. Despite the fact that their actions were ultimately fruitless, the Eretrians and in particular the Athenians had earned Darius's lasting enmity, and he vowed to punish both cities. [26] The Persian naval victory at the Battle of Lade (494 BC) all but ended the Ionian Revolt, and by 493 BC, the last hold-outs were vanquished by the Persian fleet. [27] The revolt was used as an opportunity by Darius to extend the empire's border to the islands of the eastern Aegean [28] and the Propontis, which had not been part of the Persian dominions before. [29] The pacification of Ionia allowed the Persians to begin planning their next moves to extinguish the threat to the empire from Greece and to punish Athens and Eretria. [30]

In 492 BC, after the Ionian Revolt had finally been crushed, Darius dispatched an expedition to Greece under the command of his son-in-law, Mardonius. Mardonius re-subjugated Thrace and made Macedonia a fully subordinate part of the Persians they had been vassals of the Persians since the late 6th century BC, but retained their general autonomy. [31] Not long after however, his fleet became wrecked by a violent storm, which brought a premature end to the campaign. [32] However, in 490 BC, following the successes of the previous campaign, Darius decided to send a maritime expedition led by Artaphernes, (son of the satrap to whom Hippias had fled) and Datis, a Median admiral. Mardonius had been injured in the prior campaign and had fallen out of favor. The expedition was intended to bring the Cyclades into the Persian empire, to punish Naxos (which had resisted a Persian assault in 499 BC) and then to head to Greece to force Eretria and Athens to submit to Darius or be destroyed. [33] After island-hopping across the Aegean, including successfully attacking Naxos, the Persian task force arrived off Euboea in mid summer. The Persians then proceeded to besiege, capture, and burn Eretria. They then headed south down the coast of Attica, en route to complete the final objective of the campaign—punish Athens.

The Persians sailed down the coast of Attica, and landed at the bay of Marathon, about 17 miles (27 km) north-east of Athens, on the advice of the exiled Athenian tyrant Hippias (who had accompanied the expedition). [34] Under the guidance of Miltiades, the Athenian general with the greatest experience of fighting the Persians, the Athenian army marched quickly to block the two exits from the plain of Marathon, and prevent the Persians moving inland. [35] [36] At the same time, Athens's greatest runner, Pheidippides (or Philippides in some accounts) had been sent to Sparta to request that the Spartan army march to the aid of Athens. [37] Pheidippides arrived during the festival of Carneia, a sacrosanct period of peace, and was informed that the Spartan army could not march to war until the full moon rose Athens could not expect reinforcement for at least ten days. [35] The Athenians would have to hold out at Marathon for the time being, although they were reinforced by the full muster of 1,000 hoplites from the small city of Plataea, a gesture which did much to steady the nerves of the Athenians [35] and won unending Athenian gratitude to Plataea.

For approximately five days the armies therefore confronted each other across the plain of Marathon in stalemate. [35] The flanks of the Athenian camp were protected either by a grove of trees, or an abbatis of stakes (depending on the exact reading). [38] [39] Since every day brought the arrival of the Spartans closer, the delay worked in favor of the Athenians. [35] There were ten Athenian strategoi (generals) at Marathon, elected by each of the ten tribes that the Athenians were divided into Miltiades was one of these. [40] In addition, in overall charge, was the War-Archon (polemarch), Callimachus, who had been elected by the whole citizen body. [41] Herodotus suggests that command rotated between the strategoi, each taking in turn a day to command the army. [42] He further suggests that each strategos, on his day in command, instead deferred to Miltiades. [42] In Herodotus's account, Miltiades is keen to attack the Persians (despite knowing that the Spartans are coming to aid the Athenians), but strangely, chooses to wait until his actual day of command to attack. [42] This passage is undoubtedly problematic the Athenians had little to gain by attacking before the Spartans arrived, [43] and there is no real evidence of this rotating generalship. [44] There does, however, seem to have been a delay between the Athenian arrival at Marathon and the battle Herodotus, who evidently believed that Miltiades was eager to attack, may have made a mistake while seeking to explain this delay. [44]

As is discussed below, the reason for the delay was probably simply that neither the Athenians nor the Persians were willing to risk battle initially. [43] [45] This then raises the question of why the battle occurred when it did. Herodotus explicitly tells us that the Greeks attacked the Persians (and the other sources confirm this), but it is not clear why they did this before the arrival of the Spartans. [43] There are two main theories to explain this. [43]

The first theory is that the Persian cavalry left Marathon for an unspecified reason, and that the Greeks moved to take advantage of this by attacking. This theory is based on the absence of any mention of cavalry in Herodotus' account of the battle, and an entry in the Suda dictionary. [43] The entry χωρίς ἱππέων ("without cavalry") is explained thus:

The cavalry left. When Datis surrendered and was ready for retreat, the Ionians climbed the trees and gave the Athenians the signal that the cavalry had left. And when Miltiades realized that, he attacked and thus won. From there comes the above-mentioned quote, which is used when someone breaks ranks before battle. [46]

There are many variations of this theory, but perhaps the most prevalent is that the cavalry were completing the time-consuming process of re-embarking on the ships, and were to be sent by sea to attack (undefended) Athens in the rear, whilst the rest of the Persians pinned down the Athenian army at Marathon. [35] This theory therefore utilises Herodotus' suggestion that after Marathon, the Persian army began to re-embark, intending to sail around Cape Sounion to attack Athens directly. [47] Thus, this re-embarcation would have occurred before the battle (and indeed have triggered the battle). [45]

The second theory is simply that the battle occurred because the Persians finally moved to attack the Athenians. [43] Although this theory has the Persians moving to the strategic offensive, this can be reconciled with the traditional account of the Athenians attacking the Persians by assuming that, seeing the Persians advancing, the Athenians took the tactical offensive, and attacked them. [43] Obviously, it cannot be firmly established which theory (if either) is correct. However, both theories imply that there was some kind of Persian activity which occurred on or about the fifth day which ultimately triggered the battle. [43] It is also possible that both theories are correct: when the Persians sent the cavalry by ship to attack Athens, they simultaneously sent their infantry to attack at Marathon, triggering the Greek counterattack.

Date of the battle Edit

Herodotus mentions for several events a date in the lunisolar calendar, of which each Greek city-state used a variant. Astronomical computation allows us to derive an absolute date in the proleptic Julian calendar which is much used by historians as the chronological frame. Philipp August Böckh in 1855 concluded that the battle took place on September 12, 490 BC in the Julian calendar, and this is the conventionally accepted date. [48] However, this depends on when exactly the Spartans held their festival and it is possible that the Spartan calendar was one month ahead of that of Athens. In that case the battle took place on August 12, 490 BC. [48]

Athenians Edit

Herodotus does not give a figure for the size of the Athenian army. However, Cornelius Nepos, Pausanias and Plutarch all give the figure of 9,000 Athenians and 1,000 Plataeans [49] [50] [51] while Justin suggests that there were 10,000 Athenians and 1,000 Plataeans. [52] These numbers are highly comparable to the number of troops Herodotus says that the Athenians and Plataeans sent to the Battle of Plataea 11 years later. [53] Pausanias noticed on the monument to the battle the names of former slaves who were freed in exchange for military services. [54] Modern historians generally accept these numbers as reasonable. [35] [55] The areas ruled by Athens (Attica) had a population of 315,000 at this time including slaves, which implies the full Athenian army at the times of both Marathon and Plataea numbered about 3% of the population. [56]

Persians Edit

According to Herodotus, the fleet sent by Darius consisted of 600 triremes. [62] Herodotus does not estimate the size of the Persian army, only saying that they were a "large infantry that was well packed". [63] Among ancient sources, the poet Simonides, another near-contemporary, says the campaign force numbered 200,000 while a later writer, the Roman Cornelius Nepos estimates 200,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry, of which only 100,000 fought in the battle, while the rest were loaded into the fleet that was rounding Cape Sounion [64] Plutarch and Pausanias both independently give 300,000, as does the Suda dictionary. [51] [65] [66] Plato and Lysias give 500,000 [67] [68] and Justinus 600,000. [69]

Modern historians have proposed wide-ranging numbers for the infantry, from 20,000 to 100,000 with a consensus of perhaps 25,000 [70] [71] [72] [73] estimates for the cavalry are in the range of 1,000. [74]

The fleet included various contingents from different parts of the Achaemenid Empire, particularly Ionians and Aeolians, although they are not mentioned as participating directly to the battle and may have remained on the ships: [75]

Datis sailed with his army against Eretria first, taking with him Ionians and Aeolians.

Regarding the ethnicities involved in the battle, Herodotus specifically mentions the presence of the Persians and the Sakae at the center of the Achaemenid line:

They fought a long time at Marathon. In the center of the line the foreigners prevailed, where the Persians and Sacae were arrayed. The foreigners prevailed there and broke through in pursuit inland, but on each wing the Athenians and Plataeans prevailed. In victory they let the routed foreigners flee, and brought the wings together to fight those who had broken through the center. The Athenians prevailed, then followed the fleeing Persians and struck them down. When they reached the sea they demanded fire and laid hold of the Persian ships.

From a strategic point of view, the Athenians had some disadvantages at Marathon. In order to face the Persians in battle, the Athenians had to summon all available hoplites [35] even then they were still probably outnumbered at least 2 to 1. [39] Furthermore, raising such a large army had denuded Athens of defenders, and thus any secondary attack in the Athenian rear would cut the army off from the city and any direct attack on the city could not be defended against. [45] Still further, defeat at Marathon would mean the complete defeat of Athens, since no other Athenian army existed. The Athenian strategy was therefore to keep the Persian army pinned down at Marathon, blocking both exits from the plain, and thus preventing themselves from being outmaneuvered. [35] However, these disadvantages were balanced by some advantages. The Athenians initially had no need to seek battle, since they had managed to confine the Persians to the plain of Marathon. Furthermore, time worked in their favour, as every day brought the arrival of the Spartans closer. [35] [43] Having everything to lose by attacking, and much to gain by waiting, the Athenians remained on the defensive in the run up to the battle. [43] Tactically, hoplites were vulnerable to attacks by cavalry, and since the Persians had substantial numbers of cavalry, this made any offensive maneuver by the Athenians even more of a risk, and thus reinforced the defensive strategy of the Athenians. [45]

The Persian strategy, on the other hand, was probably principally determined by tactical considerations. The Persian infantry was evidently lightly armoured, and no match for hoplites in a head-on confrontation (as would be demonstrated at the later battles of Thermopylae and Plataea. [78] ) Since the Athenians seem to have taken up a strong defensive position at Marathon, the Persian hesitance was probably a reluctance to attack the Athenians head-on. [45] The camp of the Athenians was located on a spur of mount Agrieliki next to the plain of Marathon remains of its fortifications are still visible. [79]

Whatever event eventually triggered the battle, it obviously altered the strategic or tactical balance sufficiently to induce the Athenians to attack the Persians. If the first theory is correct (see above), then the absence of cavalry removed the main Athenian tactical disadvantage, and the threat of being outflanked made it imperative to attack. [45] Conversely, if the second theory is correct, then the Athenians were merely reacting to the Persians attacking them. [43] Since the Persian force obviously contained a high proportion of missile troops, a static defensive position would have made little sense for the Athenians [80] the strength of the hoplite was in the melee, and the sooner that could be brought about, the better, from the Athenian point of view. [78] If the second theory is correct, this raises the further question of why the Persians, having hesitated for several days, then attacked. There may have been several strategic reasons for this perhaps they were aware (or suspected) that the Athenians were expecting reinforcements. [43] Alternatively, they may have felt the need to force some kind of victory—they could hardly remain at Marathon indefinitely. [43]

The distance between the two armies at the point of battle had narrowed to "a distance not less than 8 stadia" or about 1,500 meters. [81] Miltiades ordered the two tribes forming the center of the Greek formation, the Leontis tribe led by Themistocles and the Antiochis tribe led by Aristides, to be arranged in the depth of four ranks while the rest of the tribes at their flanks were in ranks of eight. [82] [83] Some modern commentators have suggested this was a deliberate ploy to encourage a double envelopment of the Persian centre. However, this suggests a level of training that the Greeks are thought not to have possessed. [84] There is little evidence for any such tactical thinking in Greek battles until Leuctra in 371 BC. [85] It is therefore possible that this arrangement was made, perhaps at the last moment, so that the Athenian line was as long as the Persian line, and would not therefore be outflanked. [45] [86]

When the Athenian line was ready, according to one source, the simple signal to advance was given by Miltiades: "At them". [45] Herodotus implies the Athenians ran the whole distance to the Persian lines, a feat under the weight of hoplite armory generally thought to be physically impossible. [87] [88] More likely, they marched until they reached the limit of the archers' effectiveness, the "beaten zone" (roughly 200 meters), and then broke into a run towards their enemy. [88] Another possibility is that they ran up to the 200 meter-mark in broken ranks, and then reformed for the march into battle from there. Herodotus suggests that this was the first time a Greek army ran into battle in this way this was probably because it was the first time that a Greek army had faced an enemy composed primarily of missile troops. [88] All this was evidently much to the surprise of the Persians ". in their minds they charged the Athenians with madness which must be fatal, seeing that they were few and yet were pressing forwards at a run, having neither cavalry nor archers". [89] Indeed, based on their previous experience of the Greeks, the Persians might be excused for this Herodotus tells us that the Athenians at Marathon were "first to endure looking at Median dress and men wearing it, for up until then just hearing the name of the Medes caused the Hellenes to panic". [81] Passing through the hail of arrows launched by the Persian army, protected for the most part by their armour, the Greek line finally made contact with the enemy army. The Athenian wings quickly routed the inferior Persian levies on the flanks, before turning inwards to surround the Persian centre, which had been more successful against the thin Greek centre. [90] The battle ended when the Persian centre then broke in panic towards their ships, pursued by the Greeks. [90] Some, unaware of the local terrain, ran towards the swamps where unknown numbers drowned. [54] [91] The Athenians pursued the Persians back to their ships, and managed to capture seven ships, though the majority were able to launch successfully. [47] [92] Herodotus recounts the story that Cynaegirus, brother of the playwright Aeschylus, who was also among the fighters, charged into the sea, grabbed one Persian trireme, and started pulling it towards shore. A member of the crew saw him, cut off his hand, and Cynaegirus died. [92]

Herodotus records that 6,400 Persian bodies were counted on the battlefield, and it is unknown how many more perished in the swamps. [93] He also reported that the Athenians lost 192 men and the Plataeans 11. [93] Among the dead were the war archon Callimachus and the general Stesilaos. [92]


Why is a marathon 26.2 miles?

The marathon may have ancient roots, but the foot race’s official length of 26.2 miles wasn’t established until the 20th century. The first organized marathon was held in Athens at the 1896 Olympics, the start of the Games’ modern era. The ancient games, which took place in Greece from around 776 B.C. to A.D. 393, never included such long-distance races. The idea for the modern marathon was inspired by the legend of an ancient Greek messenger who raced from the site of Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 40 kilometers, or nearly 25 miles, with the news of an important Greek victory over an invading army of Persians in 490 B.C. After making his announcement, the exhausted messenger collapsed and died. To commemorate his dramatic run, the distance of the 1896 Olympic marathon was set at 40 kilometers.

For the next few Olympics, the length of the marathon remained close to 25 miles, but at the 1908 Games in London the course was extended, allegedly to accommodate the British royal family. As the story goes, Queen Alexandra requested that the race start on the lawn of Windsor Castle (so the littlest royals could watch from the window of their nursery, according to some accounts) and finish in front of the royal box at the Olympic stadium𠅊 distance that happened to be 26.2 miles (26 miles and 385 yards). The random boost in mileage ending up sticking, and in 1921 the length for a marathon was formally standardized at 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers).

Today, marathon races take place everywhere from the North Pole to the Great Wall of China. In America alone, there are now more than 1,100 marathons each year. For decades, marathons were only open to male athletes. The Boston Marathon, which kicked off in 1897 and is the world’s oldest annual marathon, began allowing female competitors in 1972, while the first Olympic marathon for women wasn’t held until 1984. In 1976, an estimated 25,000 runners finished marathons in the United States by 2013, the estimated number of competitors who completed a 26.2-mile course had soared to 541,000.


The Historical Significance of The Battle of Marathon Exam Practice

I don’t know how to handle this History question and need guidance.

this is the study guide study it well and I will send you the questions tomorrow

Directions: Be able to identify each of the people/objects/places/terms/events below. In a short answer, explain why are they significant and how they influenced Early Western History?

  1. Socrates
  2. The Republic
  3. Aristophanes
  4. Cimon
  5. Herodotus
  6. Hoplite
  7. Thermopylae
  8. Mytilene
  9. Ostraca
  10. The Troads
  11. The Pythia
  12. Doric
  13. Fertile Crescent
  14. Marathon
  15. Arētē
  16. Helots
  17. Magnae Graecia
  18. The Parthenon
  19. Alcibiades
  20. Alexandria

Directions: Be prepared to answer the following questions. Answer the question completely and include some discussion of primary sources, where appropriate, to support your answer.


Ready for battle

For days, the two armies kept a wary eye on each other from a distance, engaging in nothing more than minor skirmishes. The Athenians were hesitant to march out onto the open plain, where the enemy horsemen could out-flank them and attack from the rear while the Persian archers shot at them from the front. For their part, the Persians did not dare attack the solid position taken up by the Greeks on the mountainside. The Persian leader Datis was mindful that the Spartan reinforcements would arrive soon to support the Athenians. He was losing time.

What Datis did next has puzzled historians: He sent his cavalry onto his boats and sailed them down the coast, presumably in a bid to try and take the undefended city of Athens. His withdrawal of such a vital component of his forces may also have been intended to lure the Athenians into battle with his infantry before the Greeks’ Spartan allies arrived.

Bronze vs. leather

Persian and Greek forces relied on different materials for defense. A Greek hoplite carried a large shield, called a hoplon (from which hoplites got their name), which was made of wood and coated with bronze. They also wore bronze greaves on their legs. Most donned Corinthian-style helmets, but some might have worn Attic helmets. The highly organized Persians used a large, light-weight shield made of reeds and leather, a straba, for protection. Some Persian soldiers wore padded linen breastplates, whereas others preferred cuirasses made of metal strips fixed to leather.

The Greeks convened a hurried war council at night. Some advocated returning to defend Athens, leaving thousands of enemies at their back. But Miltiades, whose turn it was to command that day, convinced the other nine generals that the best plan was to go out and fight on the plain even though the Spartans had not yet arrived. The Persians were known for their tactic of sending in their cavalry once their enemy had been weakened by repeated waves of arrows. With the cavalry off the scene, the Greeks believed they stood a much better chance of a hoplite-led victory.


Contents

Origin Edit

The name Marathon [a] comes from the legend of Philippides (or Pheidippides), the Greek messenger. The legend states that, while he was taking part in the battle of Marathon, he witnessed a Persian vessel changing its course towards Athens as the battle was near a victorious end for the Greek army. He interpreted this as an attempt by the defeated Persians to rush into the Greek capital and claim a false victory in the Battle of Marathon, [3] which took place in August or September, 490 BC, [4] hence claiming their authority over Greek land. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping, discarding his weapons and even clothes to lose as much weight as possible, and burst into the assembly, exclaiming νενικήκαμεν (nenikēkamen, "we have won!"), before collapsing and dying. [5] The account of the run from Marathon to Athens first appears in Plutarch's On the Glory of Athens in the 1st century AD, which quotes from Heraclides Ponticus's lost work, giving the runner's name as either Thersipus of Erchius or Eucles. [6] This is the account adopted by Benjamin Haydon for his painting Eucles Announcing the Victory of Marathon., published as an engraving in 1836 with a poetical illustration by Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Satirist Lucian of Samosata (2nd century AD) first gives an account closest to the modern version of the story, but is writing tongue-in-cheek and also names the runner Philippides (not Pheidippides). [7] [8]

There is debate about the historical accuracy of this legend. [9] [10] The Greek historian Herodotus, the main source for the Greco-Persian Wars, mentions Philippides as the messenger who ran from Athens to Sparta asking for help, and then ran back, a distance of over 240 kilometres (150 mi) each way. [11] In some Herodotus manuscripts, the name of the runner between Athens and Sparta is given as Philippides. Herodotus makes no mention of a messenger sent from Marathon to Athens, and relates that the main part of the Athenian army, having fought and won the grueling battle, and fearing a naval raid by the Persian fleet against an undefended Athens, marched quickly back from the battle to Athens, arriving the same day. [12]

In 1879, Robert Browning wrote the poem Pheidippides. Browning's poem, his composite story, became part of late 19th century popular culture and was accepted as a historic legend. [13]

Mount Pentelicus stands between Marathon and Athens, which means that if Philippides actually made his famous run after the battle, he had to run around the mountain, either to the north or to the south. The latter and more obvious route matches almost exactly the modern Marathon-Athens highway, which follows the lay of the land southwards from Marathon Bay and along the coast, then takes a gentle but protracted climb westwards towards the eastern approach to Athens, between the foothills of Mounts Hymettus and Penteli, and then gently downhill to Athens proper. This route, as it existed when the Olympics were revived in 1896, was approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) long, and this was the approximate distance originally used for marathon races. However, there have been suggestions that Philippides might have followed another route: a westward climb along the eastern and northern slopes of Mount Penteli to the pass of Dionysos, and then a straight southward downhill path to Athens. This route is a bit shorter, 35 kilometres (22 mi), but includes a very steep initial climb of more than 5 kilometres (3.1 mi).

Modern Olympics marathon Edit

When the modern Olympics began in 1896, the initiators and organizers were looking for a great popularizing event, recalling the glory of ancient Greece. The idea of a marathon race came from Michel Bréal, who wanted the event to feature in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. This idea was heavily supported by Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, as well as by the Greeks. [14] The Greeks staged a selection race for the Olympic marathon on 22 March 1896 (Gregorian) [b] that was won by Charilaos Vasilakos in 3 hours and 18 minutes (with the future winner of the introductory Olympic Games marathon, Spyridon "Spyros" Louis, coming in fifth at a second race two weeks later). [15] The winner of the first Olympic marathon, on 10 April 1896 (a male-only race), was Spyridon Louis, a Greek water-carrier, in 2 hours 58 minutes and 50 seconds. [16] The marathon of the 2004 Summer Olympics was run on the traditional route from Marathon to Athens, ending at Panathinaiko Stadium, the venue for the 1896 Summer Olympics. That men's marathon was won by Italian Stefano Baldini in 2 hours 10 minutes and 55 seconds, a record time for this route until the non-Olympics Athens Classic Marathon of 2014, when Felix Kandie lowered the course record to 2 hours 10 minutes and 37 seconds.

The women's marathon was introduced at the 1984 Summer Olympics (Los Angeles, USA) and was won by Joan Benoit of the United States with a time of 2 hours 24 minutes and 52 seconds. [19]

It has become a tradition for the men's Olympic marathon to be the last event of the athletics calendar, on the final day of the Olympics. [20] For many years the race finished inside the Olympic stadium however, at the 2012 Summer Olympics (London), the start and finish were on The Mall, [21] and at the 2016 Summer Olympics (Rio de Janeiro), the start and finish were in the Sambódromo, the parade area that serves as a spectator mall for Carnival. [22]

Often, the men's marathon medals are awarded during the closing ceremony (including the 2004 games, 2012 games and 2016 games).

The Olympic men's record is 2:06:32, set at the 2008 Summer Olympics by Samuel Kamau Wanjiru of Kenya [23] (average speed about 20.01 kilometres per hour or 12.43 miles per hour). The Olympic women's record is 2:23:07, set at the 2012 Summer Olympics by Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia. [24] The men's London 2012 Summer Olympic marathon winner was Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda (2:08:01). Per capita, the Kalenjin ethnic group of Rift Valley Province in Kenya has produced a highly disproportionate share of marathon and track-and-field winners.

Marathon mania Edit

The Boston Marathon began on 19 April 1897, and was inspired by the success of the first marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics. It is the world's oldest run annual marathon, and ranks as one of the world's most prestigious road racing events. Its course runs from Hopkinton in southern Middlesex County, to Copley Square in Boston. Johnny Hayes' victory at the 1908 Summer Olympics also contributed to the early growth of long-distance running and marathoning in the United States. [25] [26] Later that year, races around the holiday season including the Empire City Marathon held on New Year's Day 1909 in Yonkers, New York, marked the early running craze referred to as "marathon mania". [27] Following the 1908 Olympics, the first five amateur marathons in New York City were held on days that held special meanings: Thanksgiving Day, the day after Christmas, New Year's Day, Washington's Birthday, and Lincoln's Birthday. [28]

Frank Shorter's victory in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics would spur national enthusiasm for the sport more intense than that which followed Hayes' win 64 years earlier. [26] In 2014, an estimated 550,600 runners completed a marathon within the United States. [29] This can be compared to 143,000 in 1980. Today marathons are held all around the world on a nearly weekly basis. [30]

Inclusion of women Edit

For a long time after the Olympic marathon started, there were no long-distance races, such as the marathon, for women. Although a few women, such as Stamata Revithi in 1896, had run the marathon distance, they were not included in any official results. [31] [32] Marie-Louise Ledru has been credited as the first woman to complete a marathon, in 1918. [33] [34] [35] Violet Piercy has been credited as the first woman to be officially timed in a marathon, in 1926. [31]

Arlene Pieper became the first woman to officially finish a marathon in the United States when she completed the Pikes Peak Marathon in Manitou Springs, Colorado, in 1959. [36] [37] Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon "officially" (with a number), in 1967. [38] However, Switzer's entry, which was accepted through an "oversight" in the screening process, was in "flagrant violation of the rules", and she was treated as an interloper once the error was discovered. [39] Bobbi Gibb had completed the Boston race unofficially the previous year (1966), [40] and was later recognized by the race organizers as the women's winner for that year, as well as 1967 and 1968. [41]

Olympic marathon distances

The length of an Olympic marathon was not precisely fixed at first, but the marathon races in the first few Olympic Games were about 40 kilometres (25 mi), [42] roughly the distance from Marathon to Athens by the longer, flatter route. The exact length depended on the route established for each venue.

1908 Olympics Edit

The International Olympic Committee agreed in 1907 that the distance for the 1908 London Olympic marathon would be about 25 miles or 40 kilometres. The organisers decided on a course of 26 miles from the start at Windsor Castle to the royal entrance to the White City Stadium, followed by a lap (586 yards 2 feet 536 m) of the track, finishing in front of the Royal Box. [43] [44] The course was later altered to use a different entrance to the stadium, followed by a partial lap of 385 yards to the same finish.

The modern 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi) standard distance for the marathon was set by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) in May 1921 [45] [46] [47] [48] directly from the length used at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.

IAAF and world records Edit

An official IAAF marathon course is 42.195 km (42 m tolerance only in excess). [49] Course officials add a short course prevention factor of up to one metre per kilometre to their measurements to reduce the risk of a measuring error producing a length below the minimum distance.

For events governed by IAAF rules, it is mandatory that the route be marked so that all competitors can see the distance covered in kilometres. [1] The rules make no mention of the use of miles. The IAAF will only recognise world records that are established at events that are run under IAAF rules. For major events, it is customary to publish competitors' timings at the midway mark and also at 5 km splits marathon runners can be credited with world records for lesser distances recognised by the IAAF (such as 20 km, 30 km and so on) if such records are established while the runner is running a marathon, and completes the marathon course. [50]

Annually, more than 800 marathons are organized worldwide. [51] Some of these belong to the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) which has grown since its foundation in 1982 to embrace over 300 member events in 83 countries and territories. [52] The marathons of Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York City and Tokyo form the biennial World Marathon Majors series, awarding $500,000 annually to the best overall male and female performers in the series.

In 2006, the editors of Runner's World selected a "World's Top 10 Marathons", [53] in which the Amsterdam, Honolulu, Paris, Rotterdam, and Stockholm marathons were featured along with the five original World Marathon Majors events (excluding Tokyo). Other notable large marathons include United States Marine Corps Marathon, Los Angeles, and Rome. The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, inspired by the success of the 1896 Olympic marathon and held every year since 1897 to celebrate Patriots' Day, a holiday marking the beginning of the American Revolution, thereby purposely linking Athenian and American struggle for democracy. [54] The oldest annual marathon in Europe is the Košice Peace Marathon, held since 1924 in Košice, Slovakia. The historic Polytechnic Marathon was discontinued in 1996. The Athens Classic Marathon traces the route of the 1896 Olympic course, starting in Marathon on the eastern coast of Attica, site of the Battle of Marathon of 490 BC, and ending at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. [55]

The Midnight Sun Marathon is held in Tromsø, Norway at 70 degrees north. Using unofficial and temporary courses, measured by GPS, races of marathon distance are now held at the North Pole, in Antarctica and over desert terrain. Other unusual marathons include the Great Wall Marathon on The Great Wall of China, the Big Five Marathon among the safari wildlife of South Africa, the Great Tibetan Marathon – a marathon in an atmosphere of Tibetan Buddhism at an altitude of 3,500 metres (11,500 ft), and the Polar Circle Marathon on the permanent ice cap of Greenland.

The Istanbul Marathon is the only marathon where participants run over two continents (Europe and Asia) during the course of a single event. [c] In the Detroit Free Press Marathon, participants cross the US/Canada border twice. [57] The Niagara Falls International Marathon includes one international border crossing, via the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, New York, United States to Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. In the Three Countries Marathon [de] , participants run through Germany, Switzerland and Austria. [58]

On 20 March 2018, an indoor Marathon took place in the Armory in New York City. The 200 m track saw a world record in the women's and men's field. Lindsey Scherf (USA) set the indoor women's world record with 2:40:55. Malcolm Richards (USA) won in 2:19:01 with a male indoor world record. [59]

Wheelchair division Edit

Many marathons feature a wheelchair division. Typically, those in the wheelchair racing division start their races earlier than their running counterparts.

The first wheelchair marathon was in 1974 in Toledo, Ohio, won by Bob Hall in 2:54. [60] [61] Hall competed in the 1975 Boston Marathon and finished in 2:58, inaugurating the introduction of wheelchair divisions into the Boston Marathon. [62] [63] From 1977 the race was declared the US National Wheelchair championship. [64] The Boston Marathon awards $10,000 to the winning push-rim athlete. [65] Ernst van Dyk has won the Boston Marathon wheelchair division ten times and holds the world record at 1:18:27, set in Boston in 2004. [66] Jean Driscoll won eight times (seven consecutively) and holds the women's world record at 1:34:22. [67]

The New York City Marathon banned wheelchair entrants in 1977, citing safety concerns, but then voluntarily allowed Bob Hall to compete after the state Division of Human Rights ordered the marathon to show cause. [68] [69] The Division ruled in 1979 that the New York City Marathon and New York Road Runners club had to allow wheelchair athletes to compete, and confirmed this at appeal in 1980, [70] but the State Supreme Court [ which? ] ruled in 1981 that a ban on wheelchair racers was not discriminatory as the marathon was historically a foot race. [71] However, by 1986 14 wheelchair athletes were competing, [72] and an official wheelchair division was added to the marathon in 2000. [65]

Some of the quickest people to complete a wheel-chair marathon include Thomas Geierpichler (Austria) who won gold in men's T52-class marathon (no lower limb function) in 1 hr 49 min 7 sec in Beijing China, on 17 September 2008 and, Heinz Frei (Switzerland) who won the men's T54 marathon (for racers with spinal cord injuries) in a time of 1 hr 20 min and 14 sec in Oita, Japan, 31 October 1999. [73]

World records and world's best Edit

World records were not officially recognized by the IAAF until 1 January 2004 previously, the best times for the marathon were referred to as the 'world best'. Courses must conform to IAAF standards for a record to be recognized. However, marathon routes still vary greatly in elevation, course, and surface, making exact comparisons impossible. Typically, the fastest times are set over relatively flat courses near sea level, during good weather conditions and with the assistance of pacesetters. [74]

The current world record time for men over the distance is 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds, set in the Berlin Marathon by Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya on 16 September 2018, [75] an improvement of 1 minute 18 seconds over the previous record also set in the Berlin Marathon by Dennis Kipruto Kimetto, also of Kenya on 28 September 2014. [76] 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 who broke the record Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain had set over 16 years earlier at the London Marathon.

All-time top 25 Edit

Men
R Time Athlete Date Place Ref
1 2:01:39 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN ) 2018.09.16 Berlin [79]
2 2:01:41 Kenenisa Bekele (ETH ) 2019.09.29 Berlin [80]
3 2:02:48 Birhanu Legese (ETH ) 2019.09.29 Berlin [80]
4 2:02:55 Mosinet Geremew (ETH ) 2019.04.28 London [81]
5 2:02:57 Dennis Kipruto Kimetto (KEN ) 2014.09.28 Berlin [82]
Titus Ekiru (KEN ) 2021.05.16 Milan [83]
7 2:03:00 Evans Chebet (KEN ) 2020.12.06 Valencia [84]
8 2:03:04 Lawrence Cherono (KEN ) 2020.12.06 Valencia [84]
9 2:03:13 Emmanuel Mutai (KEN ) 2014.09.28 Berlin [82]
Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich (KEN ) 2016.09.25 Berlin [85]
11 2:03:16 Mule Wasihun (ETH ) 2019.04.28 London [81]
12 2:03:30 Amos Kipruto (KEN ) 2020.12.06 Valencia [84]
13 2:03:34 Getaneh Molla (ETH ) 2019.01.25 Dubai [86]
14 2:03:36 Sisay Lemma (ETH ) 2019.09.29 Berlin [80]
15 2:03:38 Patrick Makau Musyoki (KEN ) 2011.09.25 Berlin [87]
16 2:03:40 Herpasa Negasa (ETH ) 2019.01.25 Dubai [86]
17 2:03:46 Guye Adola (ETH ) 2017.09.24 Berlin [88]
18 2:03:51 Stanley Biwott (KEN ) 2016.04.24 London [89]
Kinde Alayew (ETH ) 2019.12.01 Valencia [90]
20 2:03:55 Reuben Kiprop Kipyego (KEN ) 2021.05.16 Milan [91]
21 2:03:59 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH ) 2008.09.28 Berlin [92]
22 2:04:02 Leul Gebresilase (ETH ) 2018.01.26 Dubai [93]
23 2:04:06 Tamirat Tola (ETH ) 2018.01.26 Dubai [93]
Asefa Mengstu (ETH ) 2018.01.26 Dubai [93]
25 2:04:11 Marius Kipserem (KEN ) 2019.04.07 Rotterdam [94]
    (Kenya) ran a time of 1:59:40.2 at the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna on 12 October 2019 that was run with the assistance of fuel and hydration on demand, and in-out pacemakers. Therefore, this attempt is not eligible for official ratification. [95] This was faster than his previous assisted run of 2:00:25 at the NikeBreaking2 in Monza on 6 May 2017, which was also ineligible. [96] (Kenya) ran a time of 2:03:02 at the Boston Marathon on 18 April 2011 that was run on an assisted course (in the case of Boston, a point-to-point, net downhill course in excess of the standards) and is therefore ineligible for record purposes per IAAF rule 260.28 (Kenya) ran a time of 2:03:06 at the Boston Marathon on 18 April 2011 that was run on an assisted course and is therefore ineligible for record purposes per IAAF rule 260.28 (Kenya) ran a time of 2:04:04 at the Abu Dhabi Marathon on 7 December 2018 that was not recognized by IAAF

Below is a list of all other times equal or faster than 2:04:11:

    also ran 2:02:37 (2019), 2:03:05 (2016), 2:03:32 (2017), 2:04:00 (2015), 2:04:05 (2013), and 2:04:11 (2014). also ran 2:03:03 (2016). also ran 2:03:16 (2020) [84] . also ran 2:03:23 (2013), 2:03:42 (2011), and 2:03:58 (2017). also ran 2:03:45 (2013). also ran 2:03:52 (2013). also ran 2:04:00 (2018). also ran 2:04:06 (2018). [97] also ran 2:04:08 (2018). also ran 2:04:11 (2017).
    (Russia) ran a time of 2:18:20 at the Chicago Marathon on 9 October 2011 that was annulled due to doping offense. (Kenya) ran a time of 2:18:57 at the Boston Marathon on 21 April 2014 that was run on an assisted course and is therefore ineligible for record purposes per IAAF rule 260.28. This mark was later annulled due to doping violations. [112]

Below is a list of all other times equal or faster than 2:19:34:

    also ran 2:17:18 (2002), 2:17:42 (2005), 2:18:56 (2002). also ran 2:18:20 (2019), 2:18:35 (2018), 2:18:58 (2020). also ran 2:18:30 (2017), 2:18:55 (2018). also ran 2:18:35 (2018). also ran 2:18:37 (2012), 2:19:19 (2011). also ran 2:18:46 (2019). also ran 2:18:51 (2019). also ran 2:19:17 (2018). also ran 2:19:25 (2015). also ran 2:19:26 (2002).

Season's Bests Edit

Men Edit

Year Mark Name Place
2012 2:04:15 Geoffrey Mutai (KEN ) Berlin
2013 2:03:23 Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich (KEN ) Berlin
2014 2:02:57 Dennis Kimetto (KEN ) Berlin
2015 2:04:00 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN ) Berlin
2016 2:03:03 Kenenisa Bekele (ETH ) Berlin
2017 2:03:32 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN ) Berlin
2018 2:01:39 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN ) Berlin
2019 2:01:41 Kenenisa Bekele (ETH ) Berlin

Women Edit

Oldest marathoner Edit

Fauja Singh, then 100, finished the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, becoming the first centenarian ever to officially complete that distance. Singh, a British citizen, finished the race on 16 October 2011 with a time of 8:11:05.9, making him the oldest marathoner. [113] Because Singh could not produce a birth certificate from rural 1911 Colonial India, the place of his birth, his age could not be verified and his record was not accepted by the official governing body World Masters Athletics.

Johnny Kelley ran his last full Boston Marathon at the documented age of 84 in 1992. He previously had won the Boston Marathon in both 1935 and 1945 respectively. Between 1934 and 1950, Johnny finished in the top five 15 times, consistently running in the 2:30s and finishing in second place a record seven times at Boston. A fixture at Boston for more than a half century, his 1992 61st start and 58th finish in Boston is a record which still stands today.

Gladys Burrill, a 92-year-old Prospect, Oregon woman and part-time resident of Hawaii, previously held the Guinness World Records title of oldest person to complete a marathon with her 9 hours 53 minutes performance at the 2010 Honolulu Marathon. [114] [115] The records of the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, at that time, however, suggested that Singh was overall the oldest marathoner, completing the 2004 London Marathon at the age of 93 years and 17 days, and that Burrill was the oldest female marathoner, completing the 2010 Honolulu Marathon at the age of 92 years and 19 days. [116] Singh's age was also reported to be 93 by other sources. [117] [118]

In 2015, 92-year-old Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, North Carolina, completed the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon in 7 hours 24 minutes 36 seconds, thus becoming the oldest woman to complete a marathon. [119] While Gladys Burrill was 92 years and 19 days old when she completed her record-setting marathon, Harriette Thompson was 92 years and 65 days old when she completed hers. [119]

English born Canadian Ed Whitlock is the oldest to complete a marathon in under 3 hours at age 74, and under 4 hours at age 85. [120] [121]

Youngest marathoner Edit

Budhia Singh, a boy from Odisha, India, completed his first marathon at age five. He trained under the coach Biranchi Das, who saw potential in him. In May 2006, Budhia was temporarily banned from running by the ministers of child welfare, as his life could be at risk. His coach was also arrested for exploiting and cruelty to a child and was later murdered in an unrelated incident. Budhia is now at a state-run sports academy. [122]

The youngest under 4 hours is Mary Etta Boitano at age 7 years, 284 days under 3 hours Julie Mullin at 10 years 180 days and under 2:50 Carrie Garritson at 11 years 116 days. [120]

Participation Edit

In 2016, Running USA estimated that there were approximately 507,600 marathon finishers in the United States, [123] while other sources reported greater than 550,000 finishers. [124] The chart below from Running USA provides the estimated U.S. Marathon Finisher totals going back to 1976.

Marathon running has become an obsession in China, with 22 marathon races in 2011 increasing to 400 in 2017. In 2015, 75 Chinese runners participated in the Boston Marathon and this increased to 278 in 2017. [125]

Multiple marathons Edit

As marathon running has become more popular, some athletes have undertaken challenges involving running a series of marathons.

The 100 Marathon Club is intended to provide a focal point for all runners, particularly from the United Kingdom or Ireland, who have completed 100 or more races of marathon distance or longer. At least 10 of these events must be United Kingdom or Ireland Road Marathons. [126] Club chairman Roger Biggs has run more than 700 marathons or ultras. Brian Mills completed his 800th marathon on 17 September 2011.

Steve Edwards, a member of the 100 Marathon Club, set the world record for running 500 marathons in the fastest average finish time of 3 hours 15 minutes, at the same time becoming the first man to run 500 marathons with an official time below 3 hours 30 minutes, on 11 November 2012 at Milton Keynes, England. The records took 24 years to achieve. Edwards was 49 at the time. [127]

Over 350 individuals have completed a marathon in each state of the United States plus Washington, D.C. and some have done it as many as eight times. [128] Beverly Paquin, a 22-year-old nurse from Iowa, was the youngest woman to run a marathon in all 50 states in 2010. [129] A few weeks later, still in 2010, Morgan Cummings (also 22) became the youngest woman to complete a marathon in all 50 states and DC. [130] In 2004, Chuck Bryant of Miami, Florida, who lost his right leg below the knee, became the first amputee to finish this circuit. [131] Bryant has completed a total of 59 marathons on his prosthesis. Twenty-seven people have run a marathon on each of the seven continents, and 31 people have run a marathon in each of the Canadian provinces. In 1980, in what was termed the Marathon of Hope, Terry Fox, who had lost a leg to cancer and so ran with one artificial leg, attained 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi) of his proposed cross-Canada cancer fundraising run, maintaining an average of over 37 kilometres (23 mi), close to the planned marathon distance, for each of 143 consecutive days. [132]

On 25 September 2011, Patrick Finney of Grapevine, Texas became the first person with multiple sclerosis to finish a marathon in each state of the United States. In 2004, "the disease had left him unable to walk. But unwilling to endure a life of infirmity, Finney managed to regain his ability to balance on two feet, to walk – and eventually to run – through extensive rehabilitation therapy and new medications." [133]

In 2003, British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes completed seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. [134] He completed this feat despite suffering from a heart attack and undergoing a double heart bypass operation just four months before. [135] This feat has since been eclipsed by Irish ultramarathon runner Richard Donovan who in 2009 completed seven marathons on seven continents in under 132 hours (five and a half days). [136] Starting 1 February 2012 he improved on this by completing the 7 on 7 in under 120 hours or in less than five days. [137] [138]

On 30 November 2013, 69-year-old Larry Macon set a Guinness World Record for Most Marathons Run in a Year by Man by running 238 marathons. Larry Macon celebrated his 1,000th career marathon at the Cowtown Marathon in Ft. Worth on 24 February 2013. [139]

Other goals are to attempt to run marathons on a series of consecutive weekends (Richard Worley on 159 weekends), [140] or to run the most marathons during a particular year or the most in a lifetime. A pioneer in running multiple marathons was Sy Mah of Toledo, Ohio, who ran 524 before he died in 1988. [141] As of 30 June 2007, Horst Preisler of Germany had successfully completed 1214 marathons plus 347 ultramarathons, a total of 1561 events at marathon distance or longer. [142] Sigrid Eichner, Christian Hottas and Hans-Joachim Meyer have also all completed over 1000 marathons each. [143] Norm Frank of the United States is credited with 945 marathons. [144]

Christian Hottas is meanwhile the first runner who ever completed 2000 marathons. He ran his 2000th at TUI Marathon Hannover on 5 May 2013 together with a group of more than 80 friends from 11 countries, including 8 officers from the 100 Marathons Clubs U.K., North-America, Germany, Denmark, Austria and Italy. [145] Hottas completed his 2500th marathon on 4 December 2016. [146]

In 2010, Stefaan Engels, a Belgian, set out to run the marathon distance every day of the year. Because of a foot injury he had to resort to a handcycle near the end of January 2010. However, on 5 February he was fully recovered and decided to reset the counter back to zero. [147] By 30 March he broke the existing record of Akinori Kusuda, from Japan, who completed 52 marathons in a row in 2009. On 5 February 2011, Engels had run 365 marathon distances in as many days. [148] Ricardo Abad Martínez, from Spain, later ran 150 marathons in 150 consecutive days in 2009, [149] and subsequently 500 marathons in a row, from October 2010 to February 2012. [150]

Some runners compete to run the same marathons for the most consecutive years. For example, Johnny Kelley completed 58 Boston Marathons (he entered the race 61 times). [151] [ circular reference ] [152] Currently, the longest consecutive streak of Boston Marathon finishes—45 in a row—is held by Bennett Beach, of Bethesda, Maryland. [153]

Men Edit

Women Edit

Men Edit

Women Edit

Most participants do not run a marathon to win. More important for most runners is their personal finishing time and their placement within their specific gender and age group, though some runners just want to finish. Strategies for completing a marathon include running the whole distance [157] and a run–walk strategy. [3] In 2005, the average marathon time in the U.S. was 4 hours 32 minutes 8 seconds for men, 5 hours 6 minutes 8 seconds for women. [158] In 2015, the men's and women's median marathon times were 4 hours 20 minutes 13 seconds and 4 hours 45 minutes 30 seconds respectively. [159]

A goal many runners aim for is to break certain time barriers. For example, recreational first-timers often try to run the marathon under four hours more competitive runners may attempt to finish under three hours. [160] Other benchmarks are the qualifying times for major marathons. The Boston Marathon, the oldest marathon in the United States, requires a qualifying time for all non-professional runners. [161] The New York City Marathon also requires a qualifying time for guaranteed entry, at a significantly faster pace than Boston's. [162]

Typically, there is a maximum allowed time of about six hours after which the marathon route is closed, although some larger marathons keep the course open considerably longer (eight hours or more). Many marathons around the world have such time limits by which all runners must have crossed the finish line. Anyone slower than the limit will be picked up by a sweeper bus. In many cases the marathon organizers are required to reopen the roads to the public so that traffic can return to normal.

With the growth in popularity of marathon-running, many marathons across the United States and the world have been filling to capacity faster than ever before. When the Boston Marathon opened up registration for its 2011 running, the field capacity was filled within eight hours. [163]

Training Edit

The long run is an important element in marathon training. [164] Recreational runners commonly try to reach a maximum of about 32 km (20 mi) in their longest weekly run and a total of about 64 km (40 mi) a week when training for the marathon, but wide variability exists in practice and in recommendations. More experienced marathoners may run a longer distance during the week. Greater weekly training mileages can offer greater results in terms of distance and endurance, but also carry a greater risk of training injury. [165] Most male elite marathon runners will have weekly mileages of over 160 km (100 mi). [165] It is recommended that those new to running should get a checkup from their doctor, as there are certain warning signs and risk factors that should be evaluated before undertaking any new workout program, especially marathon training. [166]

Many training programs last a minimum of five or six months, with a gradual increase in the distance run and finally, for recovery, a period of tapering in the one to three weeks preceding the race. For beginners wishing to merely finish a marathon, a minimum of four months of running four days a week is recommended. [167] [168] Many trainers recommend a weekly increase in mileage of no more than 10%. It is also often advised to maintain a consistent running program for six weeks or so before beginning a marathon training program, to allow the body to adapt to the new stresses. [169] The marathon training program itself would suppose variation between hard and easy training, with a periodization of the general plan. [170]

Training programs can be found at the websites of Runner's World, [171] Hal Higdon, [157] Jeff Galloway, [3] and the Boston Athletic Association, [172] and in numerous other published sources, including the websites of specific marathons.

The last long training run might be undertaken up to two weeks prior to the event. Many marathon runners also "carbo-load" (increase carbohydrate intake while holding total caloric intake constant) during the week before the marathon to allow their bodies to store more glycogen.

Glycogen and "the wall" Edit

Carbohydrates that a person eats are converted by the liver and muscles into glycogen for storage. Glycogen burns rapidly to provide quick energy. Runners can store about 8 MJ or 2,000 kcal worth of glycogen in their bodies, enough for about 30 km/18–20 miles of running. Many runners report that running becomes noticeably more difficult at that point. [173] When glycogen runs low, the body must then obtain energy by burning stored fat, which does not burn as readily. When this happens, the runner will experience dramatic fatigue and is said to "hit the wall". The aim of training for the marathon, according to many coaches, [174] is to maximize the limited glycogen available so that the fatigue of the "wall" is not as dramatic. This is accomplished in part by utilizing a higher percentage of energy from burned fat even during the early phase of the race, thus conserving glycogen. [ citation needed ]

Carbohydrate-based "energy gels" are used by runners to avoid or reduce the effect of "hitting the wall", as they provide easy to digest energy during the run. Energy gels usually contain varying amounts of sodium and potassium and some also contain caffeine. They need to be consumed with a certain amount of water. Recommendations for how often to take an energy gel during the race range widely. [174]

Alternatives to gels include various forms of concentrated sugars, and foods high in simple carbohydrates that can be digested easily. Many runners experiment with consuming energy supplements during training runs to determine what works best for them. Consumption of food while running sometimes makes the runner sick. Runners are advised not to ingest a new food or medicine just prior to or during a race. [174] It is also important to refrain from taking any of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory class of pain relievers (NSAIDs, e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen), as these drugs may change the way the kidneys regulate their blood flow and may lead to serious kidney problems, especially in cases involving moderate to severe dehydration. NSAIDS block the COX-2 enzyme pathway to prevent the production of prostaglandins. These prostaglandins may act as inflammation factors throughout the body, but they also play a crucial role in maintenance of water retention. In less than 5% of the whole population that take NSAIDS, individuals may be more negatively sensitive to renal prostaglandin synthesis inhibition. [175]

Temperature Edit

A study of the performance of 1.8 million participants in the Berlin, London, Paris, Boston, Chicago, and New York marathons during the years from 2001 to 2010 found that runners recorded their fastest times when the temperature was around 6 °C (43 °F), with every increase of 10 °C (18 °F) leading to a 1.5% reduction in speed. [176] [177] A July 2020 study found that increasing temperatures affected faster runners' performance more than slower ones. [178]

After a marathon Edit

Marathon participation may result in various medical, musculoskeletal, and dermatological complaints. [179] Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common condition affecting runners during the first week following a marathon. [180] Various types of mild exercise or massage have been recommended to alleviate pain secondary to DOMS. [180] Dermatological issues frequently include "jogger's nipple", "jogger's toe", and blisters. [181]

The immune system is reportedly suppressed for a short time. [182] Changes to the blood chemistry may lead physicians to mistakenly diagnose heart malfunction. [183]

After long training runs and the marathon itself, consuming carbohydrates to replace glycogen stores and protein to aid muscle recovery is commonly recommended. In addition, soaking the lower half of the body for approximately 20 minutes in cold or ice water may force blood through the leg muscles to speed recovery. [184]

Marathon running has various health risks, though these can be diminished with preparation and care. [185] Training and the races themselves can put runners under stress. While very rare, even death is a possibility during a race.

Common minor health risks include blisters, tendonitis, fatigue, knee or ankle sprain, dehydration (electrolyte imbalance), and other conditions. Many are categorised as overuse injuries.

Cardiac health Edit

In 2016, a systematic medical review found that the risk of sudden cardiac death during or immediately after a marathon was between 0.6 and 1.9 deaths per 100,000 participants, varying across the specific studies and the methods used, and not controlling for age or gender. [186] Since the risk is small, cardiac screening programs for marathons are uncommon. However, this review was not an attempt to assess the overall cardiac health impact of marathon running.

A 2006 study of non-elite Boston Marathon participants tested runners for certain proteins that indicate heart damage or dysfunction (see Troponin) and gave them echocardiogram scans, before and after the marathon. The study revealed that, in that sample of 60 people, runners who had averaged less than 56 km (35 mi) of weekly training in the 4 months before the race were most likely to show some heart damage or dysfunction, while runners who had done more than 72 km (45 mi) of weekly training showed few or no heart problems. [187]

According to a Canadian study presented in 2010, running a marathon can temporarily result in decreased function of more than half the muscle segments in the heart's main pumping chamber, but neighboring segments are generally able to compensate. Full recovery is reached within three months. The fitter the runner, the less the effect. The runners with decreased left ventricle function had an average peak weekly training distance of 55.1 km (34.2 mi), while those who did not averaged 69.1 km (42.9 mi). The marathon was held in 35 °C (95 °F) weather. According to one of the researchers: "Regular exercise reduces cardiovascular risk by a factor of two or three in the long run, but while we're doing vigorous exercise such as marathon running, our cardiac risk increases by seven." [188] [189]

Hydration Edit

Overconsumption is the most significant concern associated with water consumption during marathons. Drinking excessive amounts of fluid during a race can lead to dilution of sodium in the blood, a condition called exercise-associated hyponatremia, which may result in vomiting, seizures, coma and even death. [190] Dr. Lewis G. Maharam, medical director for the New York City Marathon, stated in 2005: "There are no reported cases of dehydration causing death in the history of world running, but there are plenty of cases of people dying of hyponatremia." [191]

For example, Dr. Cynthia Lucero died at the age of 28 while participating in the 2002 Boston Marathon. It was Lucero's second marathon. [192] At mile 22, Lucero complained of feeling "dehydrated and rubber-legged." [193] She soon wobbled and collapsed to the ground, and was unconscious by the time the paramedics reached her. Lucero was admitted to Brigham and Women's Hospital and died two days later. [194]

Lucero's cause of death was determined to be hyponatremic encephalopathy, a condition that causes swelling of the brain due to an imbalance of sodium in the blood known as exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH). While EAH is sometimes referred to as "water intoxication," Lucero drank large amounts of Gatorade during the race, [195] [196] demonstrating that runners who consume sodium-containing sports drinks in excess of thirst can still develop EAH. [195] [197] Because hyponatremia is caused by excessive water retention, and not just loss of sodium, consumption of sports drinks or salty foods may not prevent hyponatremia. [198]

Women are more prone to hyponatremia than men. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 13% of runners completing the 2002 Boston Marathon had hyponatremia. [199]

Fluid intake should be adjusted individually as factors such as body weight, sex, climate, pace, fitness (VO2 max), and sweat rate are just a few variables that change fluid requirements between people and races. The International Marathon Medical Directors Association (IMMDA) advises that runners drink a sports drink that includes carbohydrates and electrolytes instead of plain water and that runners should "drink to thirst" instead of feeling compelled to drink at every fluid station. [200] Heat exposure leads to diminished thirst drive and thirst may not be a sufficient incentive to drink in many situations. [201] The IMMDA and HSL Harpur Hill give recommendations to drink fluid in small volumes frequently at an approximate rate falling between 100–250 ml (3.4–8.5 US fl oz) every 15 minutes. [201] [200] A patient suffering hyponatremia can be given a small volume of a concentrated salt solution intravenously to raise sodium concentrations in the blood. Some runners weigh themselves before running and write the results on their bibs. If anything goes wrong, first aid workers can use the weight information to tell if the patient had consumed too much water.

Body temperature Edit

Exertional heat stroke is an emergency condition in which thermoregulation fails and the body temperature rises dangerously above 104 °F (40 °C). It becomes a greater risk in warm and humid weather, even for young and fit individuals. Treatment requires rapid physical cooling of the body. [202]

Some charities seek to associate with various races. Some marathon organizers set aside a portion of their limited entry slots for charity organizations to sell to members in exchange for donations. Runners are given the option to sign up to run particular races, especially when marathon entries are no longer available to the general public. [ citation needed ]

In some cases, charities organize their own marathon as a fund-raiser, gaining funds via entry fees or through sponsorships.

In Europe, the speed marathon is a 24 hours event organized by TISPOL. The goal of the event is to make people think about the speeds they choose speeds which are both legal and appropriate for the conditions. This should reduce the risk and prevent injuries. [203] 2,463,622 vehicle speeds have been checked in 2016, on 12,706 control points in 22 countries [204] · [205] In 2018, 3.2m vehicles have been checked, with 257,397 offences (8%). [203]

In 2015 the Mars rover Opportunity attained the distance of a marathon from its starting location on Mars, and the valley where it achieved this distance was called Marathon Valley, which was then explored.


What was the significance of the battle of marathon? a. the persians defeated the athenians and took over all of ancient greece. b. the persians conquered the athenians but were soon stopped by the spartans. c. the athenians conquered the persians and overthrew king darius i. d. the athenians defeated the persians and halted an invasion by king darius i.

Sparta decided to retaliate. Learning from its past experiences with the Athenian navy, they established a fleet of warships. It would be another decade of warfare before the Spartan general Lysander defeated the Athenian fleet at Aegospotami. This defeat led to Athenian surrender.

4.the Athenians defeated the Persians

The correct answer is D, as the Athenians defeated the Persians and halted an invasion by King Darius I.

The battle of Marathon was an armed confrontation that defined the outcome of the First Medical War. It happened in the year 490 a. C. and took place in the fields and the beach of the city of Marathon, located a few kilometers from Athens, on the east coast of Attica. It faced on the one hand the Persian king Darius I, who wanted to invade and conquer Athens for his participation in the Ionian revolt, and, on the other hand, the Athenians and their allies (Platea, among others). A feat recalled in this battle by Heródoto was the one of Filípides, that crossed the way of Athens to Sparta to request aid to the Spartan army. Sparta refused to help the Athenians, claiming to be on dates of religious celebrations.

After the revolt of Ionia, Darius decided to punish the Greek city that had lent aid to his rebellious subjects. After taking Naxos and Eretria, the Persian expedition, with the advice of Hippias, who hoped to regain power in Athens, disembarked on the beach of Marathon. After five days face to face, the Athenian and Platan phalanges crushed the Persian infantrymen who fled and embarked again with heavy casualties. The Greek army quickly withdrew to Athens to prevent the landing of the other part of the Persian expeditionary corps in Falero, one of the city's ports.

This victory put an end to the First Medical War. Ten years later, a new attack took place on the orders of Xerxes I. The battle of Marathon played an important political role by affirming the Athenian democratic model and the beginning of great military careers for Athenian generals like Miltiades or Aristides the Just.


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