Marathon Trivia


With the NY marathon on this Sunday my facebook and twitter feeds are full or inspirational and fun stories. I have a few pals travelling to the race; hopefully I can join them next time!

If I can’t run the race I can spend time reading about marathons. Here are some fun facts around marathons that were news to me.


  • Alcohol before a race is known to be very dehydrating….by everyone. That wasn’t always the case. Spiridon Louis drank two glasses of wine during the Olympic Marathon of 1896. He won.


    Running outfits have changed a bit

  • Apparently by 1908, no one had figured out that alcohol + running = cramps + puke. South African runner Charles Hefferon drank champagne while he ran the 1908 Olympics in London; the resulting stomach cramps messed up his last two miles so badly that he lost the gold.


  • Gotta love that it was champagne! By 1928, they were still drinking at the Olympics – wine was actually served at the aid stations!


  • The London Marathon was the first to be run over 26.2 miles as during the 1908 Olympics the Royal Box lay 385 yards beyond the 26 mile finish line. The race was therefore extended so the finish was beneath the Royal Box. The marathon has kept its extra 0.2 of a mile ever since. I love their arrogance….……”just have them run further?”


  • Prior to 1972, the longest distance women could run in the Olympics was a mere 800 meters because organizers thought distances longer than that would be too hard for women. 800m!!! That’s insulting! In 1972, the 1500m run was added, and in 1984, the full marathon was finally added. If you don’t know the story around Katherine Switzer and the Boston Marathon (she entered and completed the race in 1967, five years before women were officially allowed to compete in it) check it out – very inspiring! We have a lot to thank her for.

Katherine Switzer of Syracuse about to be thrown out 


  • The average man completes the marathon in: 4h, 32min and 8 seconds and the average woman completes the marathon in 5h, 6min, and 8 second


  • Fauja Singh was the oldest person to ever run a marathon at 100 years old! And is just the coolest thing ever! Nicknamed the ‘Turbaned Tornado’, he finished in eight hours 11 minutes and six seconds.




  • Oprah Winfrey ran a marathon in 4.29……..Ellie, seriously????  In 2003, Sean Combs set out to ‘beat Oprah’ in the New York City marathon. He finished in 4 hours, 14 minutes, 54 seconds……And President George W. Bush ran the Houston marathon in 1993 in 3 hours, 44 minutes……seriously Ellie!! Come on and enter one already!




  • The NYC marathon is the largest in the world with over 37,000 followers……some day! Watch Alec Baldwin introduce it in such a cool video  here  and then come back and we can enter together. J



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