Quick Intro: History Of Greek Running
Looking for a quick intro to the history of Greek running? The history of Greek running goes back as far as 776 BC. It was at the first ancient Olympics, where men competed against each other in a foot race. This was the only event at the first ancient Olympics. The foot race was a sprint, and went the length of the stadium, or about 192 meters.
Later in the history of Greek running, other racing events were added to the Olympic games. One event was a race called the Diaulos, which lasted for two lengths of the stadium. In 720 BC the Greeks added a race called the Dolichos. This race was a long-distance race encircling the stadium between 20 and 24 times. The last running event was a bit different from the others. This race involved athletes running two to four lengths of the stadium—in suits of armor that weighed between 50 and 60 pounds. Ancient Greeks thought that this race proved the endurance of a man.
In 490 BC a Greek soldier named Pheidippides became one of the most notable figures in the history of Greek running. It is said that Pheidippides ran from the town of Marathon to the city of Athens to announce a victory over the Persians. It is this soldier who is credited in the history of Greek running as starting what is known today as the marathon. In 1896, at the first modern Olympics, the very first modern day marathon was run. To honor the history of Greek running, Greece chose a course that would mimic the route run by Pheidippides. The race course covered 24.85 miles. The route started at a bridge in the town of Marathon and ended in the Olympic stadium.
Even in modern times, Greece has strong ties to the world of running. A man named Dean Karnazes, a Greek-American, is known as the Ultramarathon Man. He once ran 350 miles in a little over 80 hours. For 43 years the Athens marathon has drawn some of the best runners from all over the world. From the time of the ancient Olympics to the present day, the history of Greek running is rich and interesting.