Marathon running, an ULTIMATE test of human endurance and determination, has captivated athletes and ENTHUSIASTS for CENTURIES. The marathon’s 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers) distance represents an EXCEPTIONAL (extraordinary, astonishing) challenge, pushing participants to their physical and mental limits. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a first-time participant, the marathon offers an incredible experience that unites athletes from all walks of life. Marathon running has evolved into a SYMBOL of perseverance, triumph, and unity.
SPELL: ULTIMATE CENTURIES SYMBOL
Marathon running is an ultimate __________. TEST
What is marathon running an ultimate test of? HUMAN ENDURANCE, DETERMINATION
How long is a century? ONE HUNDRED YEARS
How many miles is a marathon? 26.2
How many kilometers is a marathon? 42.195
Besides miles and kilometers, what other unit of measurement is used to measure a running distance? METERS
The marathon’s distance represents an __________ challenge. EXCEPTIONAL
What is another word that I mentioned for exceptional? EXTRAORDINARY, ASTONISHING
The marathon offers an __________ experience? INCREDIBLE
The marathon unites runners from all walks of __________. LIFE
Name one symbol that marathon running has evolved into. PERSEVERANCE, TRIUMPH, UNITY
Why do you think people want to run a marathon?
If you could participate in a sport, which one would it be, and why / why not?
VAKT – Watch: 2017 NYC MARATHON TIME LAPSE AT THE VERRAZANO BRIDGE (1:00)
The name MARATHON comes from the legend of PHEIDIPPIDES, a Greek messenger (courier, emissary) who had fought on the Marathon battlefield. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to ATHENS to announce that the PERSIANS had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. The battle took place in August or September of 490 BC. As a HERALD, also known as a HEMERODROME, Pheidippides was paid to run from place to place to deliver messages. He ran the 25 miles to the ACROPOLIS in Athens to announce the Greek victory. He uttered “NIKIi” and then immediately collapsed and died on the spot.
Spell: MARATHON PERSIANS HERALD
What legend does the name marathon come from? PHEIDIPPIDES
Pheidippides was a Greek __________. MESSENGER
Name another Greek messenger. E.g. HERMES, IRIS
What is another word for messenger that I mentioned? COURIER, EMISSARY
Who was defeated in the Battle of Marathon? THE PERSIANS
Persians are an ethnic group from where? IRAN (FORMERLY PERSIA)
What month did the battle take place in? AUGUST, SEPTEMBER
What BC year did the battle take place in? 490
What is a herald also known as? A HEMERODROME
How many miles did Pheidippides run? 25
Pheidippides ran to the __________ in Athens. ACROPOLIS
Athens is a city in what country? GREECE
How would you send a message to someone?
What would you like to see if you visited Greece?
VAKT: Touch the statue of Pheidippides.
The first modern OLYMPIC games were organized to take place in Athens in 1896. The intention was to host the world’s best and strongest
athletes in a global event inspired by Pheidippides. A professor named MICHEL BREAL proposed a running event that would recreate the MYTHICAL journey of Pheidippides. The running event would be named after the town where it all started, Marathon. The Olympic games were well received and began to pop up every 4 years in major cities around the world. At each event the marathon length HOVERED (wavered, fluctuated) around the 25-mile mark.
Spell: OLYMPIC MYTHICAL RECEIVED
Where did the first modern Olympic games take place? ATHENS
In what year did the first modern Olympics take place? 1896
How many years ago did the first modern Olympics take place? 127 (2023-1896=127)
What type of athlete was intended to be hosted at the global event? BEST, STRONGEST
Who was the professor who proposed a running event? MICHEL BREAL
What is a synonym for professor? E.g., TEACHER, INSTRUCTOR, EDUCATOR
What town was the running event named after? MARATHON
What word mentioned means “wavered” or “fluctuated”? HOVERED
What is another word for “hovered” that I mentioned? WAVERED, FLUCTUATED
The Olympic games began to pop up every __________ year. 4
Name one of the colors in the Olympic rings. BLUE, BLACK, RED, YELLOW, GREEN
Name a US city that has held the Olympics. ST. LOUIS, LAKE PLACID, LOS ANGELES, SQUAW VALLEY, ATLANTA, SALT LAKE CITY
What is another word for hovered that I mentioned? WAVERED, FLUCTUATED
At each event, the marathon length hovered around how many miles? 25
What, if any, Olympic event would you like to see, and why/ why not?
VAKT: Trace each Olympic ring with your finger.
The organizers of the 1908 Olympic Games hosted in LONDON had planned a 26-mile marathon route from WINDSOR CASTLE to the entrance of the WHITE CITY STADIUM. QUEEN ALEXANDRA asked that the marathon start in the gardens of Windsor Castle so the young royals could watch it and finish at White City Stadium. This request added 385 yards, making it the first 26.2-mile marathon. The marathon ended with CONTROVERSY (disagreement, dispute). DORANDO PIETRI entered the stadium first but collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration. He crossed the finish line first but with the help of 2 MEDICS. COMPETITORS complained, so the second-place finisher, an American named JOHNNY HAYES, was declared the winner.
Spell: ROUTE CONTROVERSY EXHAUSTION
What city hosted the 1908 Olympic games? LONDON
Where was the marathon route planned to start? WINDSOR CASTLE
The marathon was planned to end at the entrance to what? WHITE CITY STADIUM
Who was the queen in 1908? ALEXANDRA
Who was the last queen of Great Britain? ELIZABETH II
Who rules Great Britain now? KING CHARLES III
How many yards were added to the marathon by changing the start to the gardens of Windsor Castle? 385
What is another word for controversy that I mentioned? DISAGREEMENT, DISPUTE
Who entered the stadium first? DORANDO PIETRI
Pietri collapsed and needed the help of how many medics? 2
What is one reason Pietro collapsed? EXHAUSTION, DEHYDRATION
Who was eventually declared the winner? JOHNNY HAYES
Name one thing, if any, that you find exhausting.
VAKT- Watch: Olympic Games 1908 Marathon: Arrival Dorando Pietro (1:48)
The road to gender inclusion in distance running was paved by women fed up with the FRAILTY (the state of being weak or delicate) myth that women are too weak and physically incapable of running a marathon. In 1966, ROBERTA GIBB hid behind a bush and snuck into the BOSTON Marathon. She became the first woman to unofficially finish the race. In 1967 KATHRINE SWITZER entered the race under the name K.V. Switzer. She was screamed at and physically assaulted by an official midrace because women weren’t allowed to run it. She finished and became the first woman to formally complete the race. In 1972, the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) allowed women to officially participate in distance road running.
Spell: GENDER OFFICIAL PARTICIPATE
Women were fed up with what myth? FRAILTY
What was one reason that women were not capable of running a marathon according to the frailty myth? WOMEN ARE TOO WEAK, THEY ARE PHYSICALLY INCAPABLE
Who was the first woman to sneak into the Boston Marathon? ROBERTA GIBB
In what year did Bobbi sneak into the marathon? 1966
Who was the first woman to formally complete the Boston Marathon? KATHRINE SWITZER
What was one thing the race official did to Kathrine Switzer? SCREAMED AT, PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED
In what year did the AAU allow women to officially participate in distance running? 1972
How many years ago were women allowed to formally participate in distance running? 51 (2023-1972=51)
What does AAU stand for? AMATEUR ATHLETIC UNION
What is the opposite of an amateur athlete? PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE
Who won the first women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984? JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON
What is one reason you think women are still excluded from some sports today?
Which, if any, female athlete do you admire, and why?
VAKT- Watch and listen: Gatorade Endurance/Bobbi Gibb (1:45)
The World Marathon Majors (WMM) is a championship-style competition for marathon runners started in 2006. The race series comprises annual races for the cities of TOKYO, Boston, LONDON, BERLIN, CHICAGO, and NEW YORK. Professional runners are able to compete for points and FINANCIAL prizes in these races. The Abbott WMM WANDA Age Group World Rankings launched its INAUGURAL championship race in 2021 at the London Marathon. I’m proud to say I got an invite to compete there! In 2016 the Six Star Medal was introduced by Abbott WMM to honor the runners who complete all six Major marathons. That’s a major ACCOMPLISHMENT, and I cherish my six-star medal!
Spell: SERIES FINANCIAL ACCOMPLISHMENT
What does WMM stand for? WORLD MARATHON MAJORS
In what year did the World Marathon Majors start? 2006
The race series comprises __________ races in six cities. ANNUAL
How often does an annual event happen? ONCE EVERY YEAR
Name one city in the race series. TOKYO, BOSTON, LONDON, BERLIN, CHICAGO, NEW YORK
In these races, name one thing that professional runners compete for. POINTS, FINANCIAL PRIZES
In what year was the inaugural Abbott WMM Wanda Age Group championship race? 2021
What marathon was the inaugural Abbott WMM Wanda Age Group championship race? LONDON MARATHON
In 2016, what was introduced by Abbott WMM to honor runners who completed all six Major marathons? THE SIX STAR MEDAL
If there is one event that you would like to be held annually, what would it be, and why?
In which of the mentioned cities, if any, would you like to run a marathon in, and why?
VAKT: Point to the Six Star Medal.
Running a marathon offers a wide array of physical, mental, and emotional benefits that go beyond the satisfaction of completing the 26.2-mile challenge. Training for a marathon requires consistent endurance workouts, which improve your CARDIOVASCULAR system and lung capacity. Running releases ENDORPHINS, which reduce stress and anxiety. Training with running groups provides an OPPORTUNITY to meet like-minded people. Running a marathon is not just about reaching the finish line but also about the profound impact it has had on our lives.
Spell: SATISFACTION CONSISTENT OPPORTUNITY
Running a marathon offers a wide __________ of benefits. ARRAY
What is one benefit of running a marathon? PHYSICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL
Running a marathon is a challenge of how many miles? 26.2
If a 5K race is 3.1 miles, how much longer is a marathon? 23.1 (26.2-3.1=23.1)
Training for a marathon requires consistent __________ workouts. ENDURANCE
Name one thing endurance workouts improve. CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM, LUNG CAPACITY
Name one part of the cardiovascular system. HEART, BLOOD VESSELS
What does running release? ENDORPHINS
What do endorphins reduce? STRESS, ANXIETY
Training with a running group provides an opportunity to meet what kind of people? LIKE MINDED
What type of impact does running have on our lives? PROFOUND
What is one achievement you are proud of?
What activity, if any, do you like to do that reduces your stress and anxiety?
VAKT: Do three knee bends (running warm-up exercise), as shown in the photo.
Imagine you are a marathon runner. You just won your first-ever marathon. Your coach has been there every step of the way. Write a thank you letter to your running coach.