Running Facts

Running Facts
Running is a way for humans and animals to move rapidly on foot, and is a method of terrestrial locomotion. When running, all feet are above the ground, which is different from walking where one foot is always in contact with the ground. See the fact file below for more running information and history.
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  • Many scientists believe that our ancient ancestors needed to run long distances to catch food, or escape harm. Weapons such as the bow and arrow and spear-thrower eventually helped early man hunt without having to run such long distances.
  • No one knows when running became a recreation but races of 3200 meters took place in Egypt 3800 B.C.
  • Running was a part of the ancient Olympics. Even though the sprint was the only race at that time, eventually, longer races and other events were added over the years.
  • The marathon was not an event of the ancient Olympic games. The marathon is a modern event that was first introduced in the Modern Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens, a race from Marathon – northeast of Athens – to the Olympic Stadium, a distance of 42.195 kilometers.
  • The marathon commemorates the run of Pheidippides, an ancient “day-runner” who carried the news of the Persian soldiers landing at Marathon in 490 BC. He ran to Sparta (a distance of 149 miles) in order to enlist help for the battle.
  • The distance of the modern marathon was standardized as 26 miles 385 yards or 42,195 kilometers in 1908 when the Olympic Games were held in London. The distance was the exact measurement between Windsor Castle, the start of the race, and the finish line inside White City Stadium.
  • Track and field athletics in the United States dates from the 1860s.
  • The first NCAA national championships were held for men in 1921, and women’s track and field became part of the Olympic Games in 1928.
  • Some of the races people participate in are: Marathons, Half Marathons, Ultras, Trail Races, Triathlons, Duathlons, Relays, 10Ks, and 5Ks.
  • Today, millions of dollars are spent on the shoes and clothing for runners. Many people run daily to keep themselves active and healthy, but there are many that compete in races all over the world.