List of Marathons in Europe
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|The best Marathons in Europe, including Half Marathons, full Marathon and the ultimate Mountain races, over Marathon distance.|
Mdina - Sliema
The Marathon has a proud history and is steeped in tradition. History records that in 490 BC a soldier named Pheidippides covered the distance from a battlefield near Marathon in Greece, to Athens in order to bring the news of a Greek victory over the Persians. At the end of this historical run he collapsed and died from the exertion.
The legend of the soldier was honoured in 1896, with a race from Marathon Bridge to the Olympic stadium in Athens, the run being the final event of the games.
Twenty-five runners lined up on that day, April 10th 1886, upon Marathon Bridge. The Greek, Spiridon Louis, a postal worker from the village of Marusi, did not disappoint. The enthusiastic crowd was waiting at the Panathenaic Stadium when he won the 24.85 mile race in a time of 2 hours 58min 50sec. He finished 7 minutes before the next competitor.
The Marathon as an event was now born. The first running of the now-famous Boston Athletic Association marathon's date was chosen to commemorate the famous ride of Paul Revere, remarkably similar in distance to the Marathon course as well as the fact that he also carried a message. The 24.7 mile course was from Metcalfe's Mill in Ashland, Mass to Boston's Irvingston St. Oval and was completed by 8 of the fifteen starters, with John J. Mc Dermott winning in a time of 2hrs 55min 10sec.
One could argue that the first London Marathon was in 1908, and you would not be wrong, but this was not repeated in 1909. Why? Because the 1908 London Olympic games hosted the first London 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 in Paris for the 1924 Olympics. This was the first time the Marathon was run over this new distance.
THE ULTRA RUNNING MARATHON
Distances have generally increased over the years, as runners look for the next big thing. Mountain running and Ultra trails of 60, 70 and 90km or quite common and if that is not enough, there are many around with distanves well over 100km.
Mountain runs a rea little different, in that they have the distance of a marathon or more buit also have the advantage ! of hills and usually lots of them. The difficulty of a mountain run may be assessed to some extent on the total postive ascend. This is not the height from the bottom to the top but the total distance of individual hills all added up. How hard are these, I train on the Perimetral, a 65km mountain race. It takes a good club runner 11hrs to get round and it is very steep inplaces, with one hill which could take you two hours to ascend, that relly is tough and is only half way through the race !
If you do want to have a go at a mountain marathon, do a half marathon first and see what you think.
If you then want to run something longer, just increase your long runs. little by little up to, between 1/2 and 2/3rds of the time, you think it will take you. I trained and went out for 5 and 6hr runs, when helping Amanda to train for her Perimetral. She completed it in 12Hrs and looked as if she had not done it and loved it. Training is the key to a good result.
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