I came across this article on the history of the marathon earlier today. You are probably already familiar with the story of Pheidippides and how the marathon started when he ran from Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians.
The aspect in the history of the marathon I find most interesting is when the event started to take off among amateur runners over the last 20-30 years. It raises the question of why so many people are devoting 3-4 months of training in order to run a marathon.
For me, I have mentioned on here that I initially started with 5 km races and eventually worked my way up to the marathon with a yearly progression in race distance – 5km to 10 km to half marathon to marathon.
The first time I ran a marathon my motivation was to see if I could do it. I have run two marathons since and each time my motivation was to beat my previous personal best time. Once again this year, the driving force behind my marathon training is to see if can beat my current personal best of 3:22.
Why do you run marathons?