Do you ever wonder why the marathon is 26.2 miles? Why couldn’t they cap it as a even 26 miles?

Many people just know the marathon as one of the most recognizable road races, but there are many factors that have shaped the marathon into what it is today. We’ve gathered up some of our favorite marathon random facts – some of which might just knock your socks off!


The Distance

The distance itself is a reflection of ancient Greek history. The first marathon commemorated the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield near the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C. According to legend, Pheidippides ran the approximately 25 miles to announce the defeat of the Persians to some anxious Athenians.

Why the .2?

Marathon lengths varied for a while. Then, in the 1908 London Olympics, the course was laid out from Windsor Castle to White City stadium, about 26 miles. However, to locate the finish line in front of the royal family’s viewing box, an extra 385 yards was added inside the stadium.

Feel Good Factor

According to a study by the University of Arkansas with 408 participants, running makes you more desirable. 80% of men and 60% of women actually felt more attractive due to regular running!

You go girl!

Women were excluded from the Boston Marathon until 1972. But that didn’t stop them. In 1966, Roberta Gibbs, hid behind a bush and jumped out to complete the run and finished “unofficially” in 3:21:25! She was the first woman to complete the course.


Many Moving Parts

In the feet, 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments, and a network of nerves, tendons, and blood vessels have to work together when we run!

Sneaky Feet

Sneakers got their name because their rubber soles do not make noise. In the late 1800’s, people started calling sneakers their name because they had rubber soles which enabled people to walk or “sneak” around without making a sound.

Many of our Aligned Modern Health staff are running the 2018 Marathon in Chicago! If anything is stopping you from running your preferred race, we are here to help you! Many of our doctors have the personal experience of endurance exercise and can help you through your journey! To request an appointment click here.