10 things you didn't know about Marathons
Why anyone would run for any other reason than someone is chasing them is beyond me but millions upon millions do. Along with the hordes of the insane comes the odd interesting factoid that the rest of us watching these physical specimens on the TV as we relax on the couch can enjoy. The following are our top 10 interesting marathon factoids.
1. The Origins
The name Marathon can be traced to a single Greek runner, Phidippides who ran 26 miles across the plains of Marathon with a message for military commanders in Athens during a battle. Although completing this staggering feet, Phidippides collapsed soon after completing his mission and died. To commemorate his sacrifice marathons were instituted through the empire.
2. Astronaut marathon
To help motivate her sister through the Boston Marathon, astronaunt Sunita Willaims completed the same distance simultaneously aboard the International Space Station.
3. The Iron Nun
Know as the Iron Nun, Sister Madonna Buder became the oldest person to ever compete and complete the Iron at 82. The Iron Nun has, to date, completed a staggering 325 triathlons (not really a marathon but still amazing).
4. Brown Legs
Although suffering from severe "runner's diarrhea" that forced her to stop several times along the way, in 2005 Paula Radcliffe still managed to not only finish the London Marathon but win it. Paula Radcliffe won the 2005 London Marathon even though she had to stop on the side of the road due to "runner's diarrhea"
In 2011, centurion (that means he was a 100 years old... not really but we like how it sounds) Fauja Singh became the oldest person to ever complete a marathon.
6. Looser Bus
Running a marathon is a taxing and emotional experience that few want to endure without the ecstasy of finishing. However, many marathon organisers employ a sweeper (read loser) bus to collect runners still on the course after cutoff times.
7. Heart Attack Ally
Considering that millions compete in Marathons worldwide every year, it is terrifying to consider that 1 in 50,000 of those runners will die of a heart attack within 24 hours following the completion of a marathon.
8. All Night Long
Cliff Young, a sly 61-year-old Australian pensioner managed to win Australia's 544 mile Sydney-Melbourne endurance race by refusing to stop for the night and continuing on while other athletes enjoyed some rest.
9. That's Just Fiennes
Explorer and all-around manliest man, Sir Ranulph Fiennes showed off again by running 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 different continents after having a heart attack just months before.
Before you start thinking that Sir Ranulph Fiennes' achievement was insaely amazing, Stefaan Engels holds the record for most insane marathon running competing in 365 marathons in 365 days.