where did marathon come from

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  • Where does the term ‘marathon’ come from?

  • The most common theory is from Ancient Greece. Marathon is a town in Greece where in 490BC a battle raged between the Athenians and the Persians. Heavily outnumbered, a Greek named Pheidippides ran 42km (26mi) to seek the help of the Spartans.

  • When was the first marathon held?

  • The first organized marathon was held in Athens at the 1896 Olympics, the start of the Games鈥?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.

  • Was the marathon ever an Olympic event?

  • The marathon was never one of the ancient Olympic events, although its origin dates back to another episode in ancient Greek history. In the 5th century B.C., the Persians invaded Greece, landing at Marathon, a small town about 26 miles from the city of Athens.

  • What is the Athens Marathon?

  • The Athens Marathon is the ultimate Marathon experience, recreating each year the incredible run that started it all 2,500 years ago. Whether you鈥檙e a runner or not, we hope you鈥檒l take a few minutes to explore this site and learn more about the Athens Marathon, and why it has such a special place in the hearts of runners throughout the world.