Marathon ! What does it mean? . Marathon for starters, a full marathon is a long-distance run covering a distance of 42.192 km. Half marathon distance would reach exactly half the distance of a full Marathon, approx 21.1 km. Any distance longer than a full marathon is called an Ultra Marathon.
About The first Marathon.
The legend has it that the first-ever long-distance run was covered by a Greek hemerodromo ( messenger of Human carrier) named Phiddipides.
Back in the days when communication was through human messengers, no mobile phones, internet, or phones, they use to hire seasoned runners as messengers. Nenikikamen! I don’t think a simple Greek word, uttered from the mouth of a dying man. As he lay lifeless on the ground in front of his countrymen.
The ones who lived in fear of exile, had the Athenians lost the war to Persia. This great man did the honor of rejuvenating the hopes of a good living, like a ray of hope for the Athenians.
With the multiple thoughts and emotions in his mind which was a mix of hatred, happiness, and Valor. While he ran the distance he underwent all these emotions all at once. Little did he know that this act of his would fuel the imaginations of people living centuries later?
Phiddipides was doing his job of carrying the message, little did he know he would become a legend for his selfless act for which he laid down his life would definitely not go unrecognized.
Phiddipides the Legend who ran the first Marathon.
Phiddipides would never have imagined that his actions would become the legendry story of “The First Marathon Runner’ would become so deeply Ingrid with his name on it, to inspire the birth of a new sport called the Marathon, all over the world.
The Story of Marathon” is a tale of immense will-power, fueled by a level of endurance that history has only occasionally been a witness to. According to the legend, a war broke out between Athenians and the Persians on the battlefield of Marathon, an area filled with fennel fields. The Persians were invaders who were on a mission to conquer the world.
The Persians were huge in numbers. Although the Athenians fought bravely, they felt the need to ask their neighboring kingdom Sparta for help. Those days they the hemerodromos ( Human messengers) so they summoned their trusted soldier Phiddipides for this task. Phiddipides ran the distance between Marathon to Sparta to ask for help.
He was filled with the feeling of patriotism uncertainty and a sense of insecurity, when the then Spartan King Leonidas said ” we will surely help in this war to drive the Persian invaders out of our motherland, however, we would require 4- 5 days to Join them. With a heavy heart, Pheidippides ran back to Marathon to convey the message.
The Athenians were not on good terms with Sparta due to few actions of theirs in the past yet they continued to fight. On a later date, Sparta too rose to the occasion by joining
The Athenians in the battle against the Persians leaving their differences aside to drive the invaders out of their motherland. Together they fought the Persians and they were victorious in the battle that followed. Pheidippides was summoned again to pass on the message to Athenian citizens about their victory.
This time Pheidippides was filled with excitement and joy while he ran the thought terrains on his way to Athens. I am sure on his way he might have imagined the happy smiles on the faces of the citizens who were eagerly awaiting some good news from the battlefield.
The women and children would have to flee for their safety had they not won this war. The true patriot that he was, filled with love for his motherland eagerly wanting to complete this journey to convey this good news to the eagerly awaiting Athenians he ran this journey with just his goal in mind.
When he reached Athens he was greeted by a hoard of Athenian citizens where he caught he struggled to catch his breath as he mumbled the golden words Nennikamen! Nennikamen! we have won the war. Victory is ours, those were the last golden words from this Legendary Soldier.
When was the first Marathon organized?
The marathon has its legendary roots in Ancient Greece. The Athenians organized the first Marathon in the year 1896 at the Athens Olympics the beginning of the Games modern era.
The marathon became an official sport in 1896 after it was included as an Olympic event in Greece and has grown slowly and steadily up to the mid-2000s when its popularity grew to unexpected levels. From 300 marathon events held every year up to the year 2000, there are now 1,100 across the USA. and the number keeps growing.
Marathon V/s Life in general
Do you think it was just Phidippides who went through this struggle? Don’t we undergo similar situations in life? Let’s go down History lane Chatrapati Shivaji, Maha Rana Pratap, Tipu Sultan, Rani Laxmi Bai, Bhagat Singh,
These are few names that speak about strength, valor, dignity, pride, and bravery. But had there been peace in their lives would these guys have been what they are today.
So in short it could be rightfully said that rough seas make a good sailor. Isn’t that true in real lives too? We are constantly at war with time, money, responsibilities family, social status, etc.
These are the basic essentials of life. After having done all your basic duties if you have to do something out of the ordinary, prioritize some time towards your personal well being, which I feel is an achievement.
What are the initial hitches when you start training for a Marathon.
Let’s find out what happens to your body when you decide to train for a Marathon.
Initially, the biggest struggle is getting up early in the morning and dragging yourself from the bed. Pushing your body out of its comfort zone. The day you decide to start training for a marathon you have to prepare for it a night prior. You set out your clothes, socks, and shoes. You sleep early, for that reason you have an early dinner and crash off to bed early.
Initially, you’re going to be out of breath and your heart rate shoots up. You’re breathing oxygen into your lungs and your heart is pumping oxygenated blood into your muscles. You won’t feel great and your stomach can feel a bit weird. It’s busy breaking down energy causing muscle cells to release gas. Your body hurts.
This is the time when You start questioning your decision, Your mind would say, what was I thinking? Your body feels sore. Yet next day you still struggle to get out of bed, there is a constant war between your mind and body should I go for training or should I rest today. If you pick yourself up that day, you would have won 70% of your struggle.
Let’s find out why do people wake up so early to put their bodies through so much pressure and pain?
Running and training for a Marathon is something like a short-term goal that you achieve every day. Initially even walking 2 km would be a task. Eventually, you would run the same distance without thinking twice. That’s your personal achievement. Your short-term happiness, that gives you the confidence to push yourself more.
These little goals which you achieve over time then lead to signing up for your first 5km run followed by 10 km then half marathon then your full marathon later you taste the sweet fruit of success by doing the ULTRA Marathon. So when you look back you have a hugely inspiring story to share with others.
This gives you a mental upliftment leading to a change in your behavior towards life in general. You would realize you are calmer than before.
You now approach your problem like a challenge other than a challenge. Your health improves. You realize you are no longer scared of your medical results. Your cholesterol levels show a positive change, your sugar levels have come within the normal range. You start eating healthy. You look younger than your age.
You have improved energy levels than people younger than you. You start interacting with your body and you start working on your weaknesses. You would tend to give up dangerous vices if you have any? like smoking, drinking having too much sugar. These are small changes but they bring about a huge change in your personality in a big way.
Falling in love
When you run a marathon or train for one, your body releases Endorphins, these hormones make you happy. Happy people do not hurt anyone. Have you realized when was the last time you were happy, carefree? It was when you were a little child when you played gully cricket with your friends on the road.
Played football in the rain. swan in the river or pool, rode your cycle to school. All that was because you were carefree. Because your body was active and those days you didn’t have any other options or need any tv or Netflix for you to kill time. You rarely had any time to kill. Your body released a lot of endorphins which naturally kept you very happy.
That’s exactly what running does to you. You fall in love with yourself all over again. You nurture your body with good food, train it with exercise rejuvenate it with rest and take care of it by treating your weakness and working on it. Isn’t it called falling in love with yourself.
And when you are in love you tend to make the people and surrounding around you very happy. It’s a huge form of therapy and you owe it yourself. After all, if we have to chance to live only once but if we live well
Once is more than enough don’t you think?
It is not some magic that you do overnight. It’s pure hard work, dedication, prioritizing your life, and you perfect your art over time. I like to introduce a few Indian Marathon runners who have very interesting stories to share about their running journey.
Fondly called the forest gump of India. He is the first Ultra Marathon runner of India. For starters A full marathon distance is 42.2 kms any distance more than a full Marathon is called the Ultra marathon. He is the first Indian to complete the worlds toughest Marathon in the world. The Bad Water Marathon in California. Its also called the death valley.
Its a very tough marathon to conquer the temperature runs upto 50 degrees and above. One of the common occurance during this crazy Marathon is the soles of your shoes begin to melt due to the heat. He is the first Indian to attempt and first Indian to complete it.
After him Mr. Piyush Shah from Ahmedabad attempted but he couldnt complete it. Followed By Breeze Sharma, Raj Vadgama, and the latest was Sunil Sharma from Chandigarh who is the fastest Indian to complete the Bad water Marathon.
He has a very interesting story to narrate about how how began his running Journey. He lives in Delhi working for the planning comminsion for the Indian Army.
What prompted this man to take up running. Who inspired him to put himself throught this torture.He was living a normal life. He was married to Mrs. Bhardwaj who is a school teacher. They were happy with their simple lives, the turn of events happened the day he heard that he was going to be a father.
He was very happy nodoubt that. But a thought held him back, I want to do something in life which would make my child feel proud of me.
He used to be very frail and fragile health wise. He would get infected by malaria practically every year during his college days. Mrs. Sangeeta Bhardwaj and she gave birth to a beautiful daughter who was named Arunima.
When Mr. Arun Bhardwaj saw his little bundle of joy for the first time, he had a biting feeling in his mind. I want to be my little girl’s Hero. As the famous quote goes
” I am a princess not because I will have a prince in my life. Its because my Father is the King”
Mr. Arun Bhardwaj is indoubtedly the king of sorts. He has been running for over 22 years now having conquered multiple
inspiration but how can I do that. I am so frail and weak how can I become an inspiration for my daughter so she looks up to me as her King. His work place was about 15 kms away from home. His wife is a teacher by profession.
So she has to leave early morning. Mr. Bhardwaj would get his daughter ready for work and leave for his office. He would often wonder what is it I should do for my children to look up to me. So one night after dinner he decided to go for a walk. He thought to himself why should I walk why not run.
Age : 61 Occupation : Self – employed …..Financial & Corporate Insurance Consultant
My current running activity has roots to my childhood, I would not say that I was athletic, but yes grew up watching tennis legends like John Mconroe / Bjorn Borg and other players including a vey calm and silent Chris Evert / Stefii Graff etc .to continue reading about Kumar ajwani click here