There are many known facts about running the marathon.
For instance, everyone knows it’s a 26.2mile race that requires a lot of hard work and determination, not to mention months and months of training; but there many things that people don’t know about the exhausting feat, that why Royal Vegas produced a list of lesser known marathon facts.
- You’ve probably heard of Eddie Izzard’s recent accomplishment of running 27 marathons in 27 days and whilst there’s no downsizing his amazing achievement, Stefaan Engles makes that seem like a mere 100 metre sprint. The Belgian completed a marathon every day of the year becoming the first man to complete the marathon 365 consecutive times.
- Sir Ranulph Fiennes rivals Stefan’s amazing record, the explorer completed seven marathons in seven days on seven different continents despite suffering a heart attack months prior.
- Fiennes may have suffered a heart attack prior to running the marathon but he was also in danger of suffering one upon completion of the distance. In fact, 1 in 50,000 of marathon runners suffer a fatal heart attack within 24 hours of running the race.
- The cardiovascular system isn’t the only part of your body that can be severely affected by running. Completing a marathon can have a severe effect on your bowels, less dangerous of course but as seen with Paula Radcliffe, perhaps a tad embarrassing. The 2005 London Marathon winner suffered from a bout of “runner’s diarrhoea” and had to make several stops on the side of the road to relieve herself.
- Fauja Singh is the oldest person ever to complete the marathon distance. In 2011, the year marking his 100th birthday he completed Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
- Sister Madonna Buder, nicknamed the Iron Nun, is another elderly superstar. In 2012 at the age of 82, Sister Buder became the oldest person ever to complete the triathlon. Currently, she has completed an awe-inspiring 325 triathlons and 45 Ironman distances. Not strictly a marathon but it’s deserving of a place in this list.
- 61-year-old Cliff Young joins Fauja Singh and Sister Buder as an elderly superstar. The Australian pensioner won the Sydney to Melbourne endurance race – a staggering 544-mile trek – by continuing to race whilst fellow competitors decided to rest. Devious but dedicated!
- Sibling love is often a heart-warming thing, not least demonstrated by astronaut Sunita Williams. Whilst her sister was running the Boston Marathon she simultaneously completed the 26.2 miles whilst on board the International Space Station.
- Whilst deciding to attempt to run a marathon is an amazing decision in the first place, some just struggle to complete it on time. Most marathon organisers provide sweeper buses to pick up runners upon conclusion of course cut-off times.
- Whilst almost everyone knows that a marathon is 26.2miles, few know where the name, or race originates from. It is thought to stem from Greek runner Phippides who ran 26 miles, carrying a message for military chiefs during a battle, across the pastures of Marathon. Phippides collapsed and died soon after his mission and to honour is selfless sacrifice, marathons were implemented through the empire.