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Know Your Races: The "Athons"

Know Your Races: The "Athons"

There is always talk about all the '"athons," so I am sure you know the names, but do you know what they really mean?


The term marathon comes from the legend about a Greek soldier, who was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon — it is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping. So now that you've got a little history, here is what it all means in modern times.

  • Marathon: A marathon is a long-distance running event of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 kilometres) that is usually run as a road race but can be done as an off-road race (for example, on mountain trails) too.
  • Half-Marathon: A race that encompasses running 21,097.5 meters, or about 13.1 miles.
  • 5K: A race that encompasses running 5 kilometers or 3.107 miles.
  • Aquathon: A race encompassing swimming and running.

So consider this list before you sign up for any race so that you know what you're getting yourself into. If you are interested in brushing up on other race names, you should read up on the "athlons" too.

Fit's Tip: A good start is a Fun Run, which literally is a run for fun (often including runners who are sponsored for a charity). Unlike a lot of races (marathons, triathlons, etc.) fun runs do not require a qualifying time to enter the race.

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