“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” Those are the words spoken by John Bingham, an American marathon runner and author, who has encouraged runners of all shapes, sizes and speeds to change their lives for the better as a result of this miracle. The miracle he speaks about is the marathon race. Legend holds that the world's first marathon was run, unintentionally in 490 B.C. by a Greek soldier named, Pheidippides, who ran the 25 miles to Athens from the town of Marathon to announce the victory over the Persians. "Greetings, we win!" he shouted and then fell to the ground, dead (James). It would be more than 2,000 years before the marathon would make its return, at the revival of the modern Olympic Games in Greece in 1896. In that event, 17 runners ran 24.8 miles, with Greek runner Spyridon Louis taking the gold medal with a time of 2 hr. 58 min. 50 sec (James). Inspired by the event's success, Boston inaugurated its race the next year, and it is now the oldest annual marathon in the world. In 1908, the marathon course at the London Olympics ran from Windsor Castle to the royal box at the Olympic stadium in White City. The length of the race continued varying for years, but in 1924 that specific distance of 42,195 m, or 26 miles, 385 yd. was made the worldwide standard (James). The marathon race is a prestigious event that requires motivation, proper nutrition, and countless hours of training. People run for many reasons. Some compete, while others run out of passion. Whatever the reason, motivation plays a major role in running a marathon. Countless runners from beginners to the most experienced veterans can sometimes fall victim to lapses. Nevertheless, they find ways to stay motivated. “I just tell myself, if I don't do my work out today, my competitors are training harder to beat me. That's the competitive side of me talking,” says Rhea Macaluso, 29, assistant medical claims auditor, who ran...
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