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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Long Distance Running

After my last 1/2 marathon, which was also my first 1/2 marathon, I took about 4 months off.

About 10 weeks ago my pants decided that it was time for me to start running again.

My next goal race is the Secret City Half Marathon right here in East TN.

Do you know how the race of the marathon got its name? If not, you are in luck. Look what Wikipedia has for us: The traditional story relates that Pheidippides (530 BC–490 BC), an Athenian herald, was sent to Sparta to request help when the Persians landed at Marathon, Greece. He ran 240 km (150 mi) in two days. He then ran the 40 km (25 mi) from the battlefield near Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) with the word "Νενικήκαμεν" (Nenikékamen, "We have won") and collapsed and died on the spot from exhaustion.

Apparently someone, probably a man, thought collapsing and NOT dying from exhaustion after running 25 miles sounded like a challenge.

25 miles? If you thought a marathon was 26.2 miles you would be correct - something about the King and Queen and whatever year the Olympics were in their country they decided to reroute the course so they could watch the runners comfortably from their thrones.

With that established, it is clear that a half marathon is 13.1 miles. Something about the phrase "half marathon" bugs me though. It kind of sounds as if, "Oh well, HALF... if it is just half ...". Don't be fooled, it is still a tough race. I feel like it deserves an alternate name. A name like Anoixi.

It has a nice ring to it, right? I have no idea to pronounce it. It is a town halfway between Athens and Marathon.

Anyway, if you're in town and feel like getting up early and breathing some cold, fresh air - come out and support some runners! 

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