Marathon races were first held in 1896, but the distance was not standardized by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) until 1921.
The actual distance for pre-1921 races frequently varied slightly from the present figure of 42.195 km (26 miles 385 yards).
The first two modern marathons winners were Greek runners Charilaos Vasilakos (3:18:00) and Ioannis Lavrentis (3:11:27), in 1896, in qualifying races for the 1896 Summer Olympics.
World records in the marathon are now ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the international governing body for the sport of athletics.
The IAAF world record for men is 2:02:57, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, on September 28, 2014, at the Berlin Marathon.
The IAAF recognizes two world records for women, a “Mixed Gender” record of 2:15:25, set by Paula Radcliffe of the United Kingdom on April 13, 2003 at the London Marathon, and a (pending ratification) “Women Only” record of 2:17:01, set by Mary Keitany, on April 23, 2017 at the London Marathon.
It is possible that Stamata Revithi is the first woman to run the modern marathon, at the 1896 Olympic course.
The IAAF credits Violet Piercy’s 1926 performance as the first woman to race what is now the standard marathon distance; however, other sources report that the 1918 performance of Marie-Louise Ledru in the Tour de Paris set the initial mark for women.
On April 18, 2011, the Boston Marathon produced what were at that time the two fastest marathon performances of all time. Winner Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya recorded a time of 2:03:02, followed by countryman Moses Mosop in 2:03:06. However, since the Boston course does not meet the criteria for record attempts, these times did not get ratified by the IAAF.
Interesting, isn’t it? By the way, how is your running training going?
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