Things you didn’t know about the Marathon (and the best places to grab a pint en route)

Posted at 5:30 pm, April 20, 2012 in Arts & Entertainment, News

Top 5... Marathon factsLimbering up for this weekend’s London Marathon? Jog on son – we’ll be watching from the side lines. But whether you’re supporting a loved one or just out for the fun of it the London Marathon is a great day out so follow Time Out’s guide to the best viewing and boozing spots along the 26.4 mile route in this week’s magazine or online.

In the mean time here’s our top three Marathon facts…

1. Taking part could be bad for your health

The name ‘Marathon’ originates from the legend of Pheidippides, who in 490BC was said to have run from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens, a distance of 24.8 miles, to announce the victory of the Greeks over the Persians. Pheidippides was so exhausted that he collapsed and died.

2 It’s an elastic business

Today’s race of 26.2 miles dates back to the 1908 London Olympics. It is said that the original distance was extended to enable members of the royal family to watch the start of the race from the East Terrace at Windsor Castle and the end of it from the royal box in the Olympic stadium at White City.

3 Cheating’s fine, as long as it’s funny

One of the great Olympic scandals came in the 1904 marathon in St Louis, USA. American athlete Fred Lorz, suffering from stomach cramps, hitched a lift for 11 miles, then got out and ran into the stadium to be crowned Olympic champion. He was later disqualified and banned for life – but the ban was lifted when Lorz claimed he had done it as a joke.

For more fun facts check out Time Out’s 10 things you didn’t know about the Marathon.

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