Sports Zone

How to Run The Race

Joan Benoit

The Olympic marathon is a 26.2-mile race run on roads.
The course must be relatively flat, although a certain amount of up-and-down terrain is allowed.
There will be between 100-200 runners in each race. The races are located and scheduled to avoid heat when possible.
Men have run the marathon in every modern Olympics since 1896.
The winner of the first Olympic marathon, on April 10, 1896 (a male-only race), was Spyridon Louis, a Greek water-carrier, in 2 hours 58 minutes and 50 seconds.
After years of combating prejudicial attitudes and judgments about their role and ability, women ran their inaugural Olympic marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics (Los Angeles, USA) where an inspired Joan Benoit of the United States put the pedal down early and won the race with a time of 2 hours 24 minutes and 52 seconds.
Though there are no first-hand accounts of what Benoit or Louis said as they crossed their finish lines, I suspect both were smart enough not to proclaim, ”We have won!” Racers are not required to die upon completion of the race.
Joan Benoit is the only American woman to win the Olympic marathon. Three American men have won the Olympic marathon, and the last was Frank Shorter in 1972. Thomas Hicks won in 1904 and Johnny Hayes in ’08.



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