Arts and Culture

long distance foot race

A long distance foot race is a competition that takes place on or over a certain amount of distance. This is usually measured in kilometers, miles or even hours. It can also be a test of endurance, fitness, or other physical capabilities. Some events are multi-day and have checkpoints along the way. These may be located on the course, while others are manned by soldiers.

The first official marathon was held in Athens, Greece in 1896. In honor of the city’s ancient roots, the event was held on a course that was the same as that used for the 1896 Olympics. As a result, many world-beating performances were recorded.

Despite a small turnout of athletes, the marathon was a success. One of the first winners was Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian who went on to win the gold medal at the 1960 Rome Games. He was the first black African to take home an Olympic medal.

A few years later, the Polytechnic Marathon was held on the same course. This race was one of the earliest to feature women. They were admitted in 1972. Since then, there has been a proliferation of ultramarathons and triathlons, including Ironman races.

The Badwater Ultramarathon claims to be the toughest foot race in the world. This 3-day event starts in Death Valley and ends in Mt. Whitney. Although the route has its share of hazards, the most challenging part of the course is crossing the Arctic Circle at 23 miles.

Another big-name competition is the New York City Marathon. Held on November 3, this race has been around for almost as long as the city itself. Bill Rodgers won the 1975 marathon. His competitors included Yuri Trostenyuk, an Ukrainian who finished in 46 days. Other awe-inspiring feats include the “single-man” runner who completed the race in under three hours and four men who finished the 59th Street Bridge in under an hour.

Another notable race is the 6633 Arctic Ultra. This is the longest and windiest long distance foot race in existence. Participants are required to travel through the wilderness of the Yukon and Northwest Territories and across the Arctic Circle. Besides completing the 120 mile course, competitors also have to carry everything on their back.

The Battle of Marathon led to the creation of the modern day marathon. This was a major milestone in the evolution of the athletic sport. After the Persians attacked the city in 490 BC, the Greeks defeated them. King Taharka ordered a long-distance foot race to be held. Runners from the military and civilians alike took part in the race. Throughout the run, the course had checkpoints, or checkboxes, that participants could punch in and out of.

Despite the fact that the 6633 is the only official ultramarathon of its size in the United States, there are several dozen other events taking place on the continent every year. Many of the top Marathon runners are running under five-minute mile pace.