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42195 Meters to Athens – The Story of Marathon

Do you know that every year over 500 marathons are held all around the world? Or, why do athletes have to run exactly 42195 meters in a marathon? Read this post if you are curious about the answers to these questions and want to dig into some interesting historical events.

In the summer of 490 BC, Persians and Athenians battled at the plains of Marathon which is a small town of Attica region in Greece. About 10000 Greeks defeated over 100000 Persians and marked a turning point in the Greco- Persian Wars. The Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger ran to Athens from the Battle of Marathon to announce that Persians had been defeated. He ran the entire road without a break, arrived to the assembly and exclaimed ” We have won” then he collapsed and died.

Phidippides by Luc-Olivier Merson

The distance from Marathon to Athens is 42195 meters that’s why the marathon run is held to memorize the Greek soldier Pheidippides’s run and death. The first marathon was held in Athens Olympic Games in 1896  and until 1921 the distance didn’t become standard.

Map_Greco-Persian_Wars-wikipiedia

300  and 300: Rise of An Empire 

Some of you have seen these movies; 300 and 300 : Rise of an Empire. They mention some of the battles Greeks and Persians had fought. Of course those are Hollywood movies which do not necessarily show all historical facts such as the numbers of soldiers or the power of the armies. But it may put some curiosity in you and lead you to dig the history of Greco-Persian Wars.

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