A Run Through History
Monday, September 05, 2016
TM Speech: A Run Through History (Yup - check it out if Running Content is what you seek)
A Run Through History
• Held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus
• War and other hostilities were halted during the Games
• They were for men only. And naked ones at that. Women eventually began their own games
• Wrestling and running were the main events. To our knowledge, the main distance was 1 Stadia/Stadion – about 200 yards
• The ancient Olympics were permanently halted in 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I decreed that all pagan cults and practices be eliminated
• We all know about Pheidippides running from Marathon to Athens in 490 BC, don’t we?
• BUT - did you know...
• The distance was about 25 miles
• He ran 150 miles (Athens to Sparta) during the prior days
• The first marathon run for competition was in the modern Olympics (inspired by a poem)
• The marathon distance was changed to 26.2 miles in the modern Olympics in order to run by the Queen of England
• In 2010 we celebrated the 2500 year anniversary – how’s that for a tradition
• The entire Pheidippides is probably only a myth. But it sure is fun
• Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894
• Panathenaic Stadium was restored for the new games held in Athens
• Games began in 1896
• Events included different running distances, including a new one called the marathon, to commemorate the legend of Pheidippides
• First “Competitive” Marathon won by a Greek named Spyridon Louis
• Held Every Four Years, just like the ancient ones
• Interrupted by World Wars I and II
• Women’s track events were added in 1928
• Until 1984, Women were not allowed to run distances farther than 1500 meters
• Or third, if you count the one by Pheidippides
• Guess what? It’s Boston – 1897
• Founded by Boston Athletic Association, inspired by first Olympic Marathon
• Boston’s Long History nearly matches that of the Olympic one
• At the 1908 London Olympic Games, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria wanted the marathon race to begin at Windsor Castle outside the city, in order for the Royal family to view the start
• This made the distance 26 miles
• Runners ran an extra 385 yards around the track as they finished in the stadium
• Boston and other marathons adjusted their distances
• Katherine Switzer entered the 1967 Boston Marathon as K. Switzer. RD Jock Semple tried to manually remove her, but her boyfriend intervened.
• These photos appeared in Boston Globe
• Bobbi Gibb had run it in 1966
• Women were officially allowed to enter Boston in 1972
• From Cleveland / Ohio State
• American track and field athlete and Olympic gold medalist
• At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens won international fame with four gold medals
• As the most successful athlete at the games and as such has been credited with single-handedly crushing Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy
• Became the first to run under 4 minutes in the mile – 60 years ago in 1954
• Since then as many as 1,000 runners have broken the barrier, a select few whilst still in high school
• Very few of them have been able to do it on a cinder track as Bannister did
• Sebastian Coe was the logical successor to Bannister
• F: Won Olympic Marathon in 1972
• J: Won 1st Women’s Olympic Marathon
• Boston, Chicago Winner
• Former WR holder
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