Marathons must be run on roads or other hard surfaces. Routes made of grass or other soft surfaces are not allowed. Both the starting and finishing points of the route must be properly marked. Distances must always be clearly posted. Refreshments cannot be offered or accepted at unauthorized points throughout the race. Runners must use approved electronic timing devices while running. The runner that finishes the race in the shortest amount of time is the winner.
Marathon is an individual sport where participants run a distance of 26.2 miles on a laid-out course. The person with the quickest time of completion is the winner. Marathon is a long, long, LONG distance race originating in ancient Greece. Run on hard surfaces by many runners, marathon forces the body to endure a distance slightly longer than 26 miles. Marathons are held annually in most major cities and are also run in the Olympic Games. The field of runners is always varied, attracting everyone from serious competitors to casual participants.
Marathon is said to have come from a Greek soldier who ran over 22 miles from the city of Marathon to Athens, to announce a great war victory. The practice was revived as an event in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The distance of this race was 24.85 miles. In 1924 the length of the marathon was changed to 26.22 miles, a length that has been the standard ever since. In 1984, the women's marathon was added to the Olympic Games. Today, marathon is an extremely popular recreational and competitive sport. Hundreds of marathons are held around the world each year, usually located in large cities.