In 490BC, Greece and Persia held a war in a small town named Marathon, not far from the city of Athens, which is vital to all the Greeks. This war ended up with the victory of Greece. In order to inform the people in the capital as soon as possible, the young warrior Pheidippides ran back to Athens from Marathon. However, after declaring the victory of Greece, he died because of exhaustion. In order to commemorate this warrior, a long-distance running competition, from Marathon to Athens with a distance of 40.2 kilometers, was held in the first Olympic Games in 1896. Competitor Luis representing Greece spent 2 hours 58 minutes 50seconds to finish the game.
Originally, the distances of Marathon were different until the 4th Olympics in London. For the British royalty’s convenience, the holder placed the jumping-off point at the Windsor palace square, and put the end point before the stand for loyalty only in White City Stadium in London with the total length of 42.195 kilometers. After that, constant argument for the standard distance existed in the IOC. Until 1924, IAAF formally regulated the distance of 42.195 kilometers as the standard distance.
In marathon field there is only a world best achievement instead of the world record. Because the match is carried on the roads and something approximate, and the jumping-off spots and end spots are set up in the stadiums, along the roads many landmarks are placed every kilometer to hint the distance, and there will be a drinking spot every five kilometers.