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Allow me to introduce to you to Mr. Pheidippides.
Back in the Bible days, or in 490 B.C when the Persian Empire was at it's greatest strength, and was out conquering the world since their time had come, it's invading army approached the city Of Athens and set-up camp on the plain of Marathon, right outside of that City-State. But the Athenians had for friends the great army of the city of Sparta, Athens. And so the General who knew that Pheidippides was a great long distance runner, ordered him to run to Sparta and request help to defeat this giant of an enemy.
So Mr. Pheidippides took off like a bat out of hell and started running as fast as he could on foot, since the car was not invented yet, nor the telephone, nor email yet, to try to reach Sparta which was, get this... 140 miles away, or about two and half hours by car. And so he ran for his life to warn his friends the Spartans, running through lakes, meadows, mountains and valleys, and even in places where mules and mountain goats were having a hard time walking. And so he ran non-stop all throughout the day and the night. Imagine you running 8 miles, and that would take you about 1 hour. And so 140 miles would take you about 18 hours, but that is if you never stopped to rest, to drink water, to eat something, to use the bathroom, to change socks and sneakers, and even if you didn't have a heart attack.
Bur Mr. Pheidippides did run, and continued on the entire 140 miles until he reached the Spartan army and spoke with their General. Amazing & Unbelievable... So after a meeting between the Leaders and an answer has been given, Mr. Pheidippides started on his way back for another 140 miles, or another 18 hours of running non-stop. And remember once again, he already ran 140 miles just to get there, and now he is crossing the same paths, the same corridors, the same meadows, and the same treacherous fields. And after a whole day and a whole night of non-stop running, he made it back to the Athenian Army and informed his General. Then, as quickly as he came, he joined in the fighting in order to save his fellow man and his City-State.
After a while of fighting, and to everyone's surprise the Athenian army defeated this monstrosity of an army the Persians. Whom greatly outnumbered them, and whom had greater weapons and humongous amount of resources. So now they celebrated like never before, and were congratulating one another. Then the General wanted to let the Citizens of Athens know what just took place, so he called upon the god-like Mr. Pheidippides to run and alert the Leaders and the people of Athens.
And so he ran... Now imagine and remember, that he had already run 140 miles to Sparta, which took him a day and a night. Then he ran back another 140 miles to Athens, which took him another day and a night. And once he arrived in the Plain of Marathon, he joined in the fighting and helped defeat the greatest army known to Mankind. But now, immediately afterward, he had to run another 22 miles from the Plain of Marathon to the City-State of Athens. And unbelievably he made it all the way to the City's entrance yelling ・ Victory, Victory Victory... And fell to the ground. Dead... Yes, Dead because his heart could not take this brutal punishment to live after running 302 miles in a matter of 3 days on foot, and fought an overwhelming Military Battle. And so Pheidippides died a Hero of Marathon and long distance running.
Then the Athenians who recognized a god and Hero when they met one, made sure that they never forgot Mr. Pheidippides, by establishing many memorial games, including Running Events, all in the name of this perfect gentleman. Then the rest of the world who learned of Mr. Pheidippides' deeds, in 1896, when the Olympic games were restarted, created the Marathon... in honor of Mr. Pheidippides. Then in 1924, The Marathon running event was standardized to 26 miles and 385 yards. But never the 140 miles to Sparta, nor the 140 miles back to Athens, because that would be too much for most humans, except for Mr. Pheidippides, the greatest marathon and long distance runner of all times. Dr.JamesDazouloute
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