Marathon's Beginnings

Dick Roraback gave the Marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards as the precise distance it took Pheidippides to run to Athens with the news of victory (Greek over the Persians) in 490 BC. ("L.A. Gets a Running Start on Its First Marathon," March 2).

In fact, this measurement was established in London, the IV Olympiad in 1908, and is the distance between Windsor Castle, the Marathon's start, and the stadium in Shepherd's Bush, the finishing line, and has remained so since.


Santa Monica

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