The Marathon And Its FDR Connection!

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Nicole Swierczek, Contributor

Have you heard of Marathons? If so, have you ever run in one? In 490 B.C., Pheidippides, a soldier ran the first marathon in history from a battlefield near Marathon, Greece, to Athens. According to legend, Pheidippides ran nearly 25 miles. He did this in order to notify some Athenians of the Persians’ defeat. However, the race was not regarded as significant until 1896. A 40 km marathon was held at the first inaugural Modern Games in Athens to retain the spirit of Pheidippides. During this race, a Greek water-carrier Spyridon Louis struck gold in a time of 2:58:50, launching the marathon phenomenon. Now there are over 800 marathons that are held throughout the year worldwide.

A Marathon is 26.2 miles. What does it take to train for a race like this? Mr. Mitey and Mr. Achalal, two fellow marathon runners who also happen to be teachers at FDR, explained how they had to train- practically every day for months prior to the race. However, they don’t regret all the training whatsoever. When they ran the marathon, they loved the energy that was given throughout the whole race. Everyone was cheering, laughing, and had a great time. Mr. Achalal even described it as a party. This year’s New York City Marathon, the 51st in the city’s history, was said to be very hot and humid for those who attended and ran. The race entailed visiting all five boroughs, it started on Staten Island and proceeded north through Brooklyn and Queens. The route continues west across the Queensborough Bridge into Manhattan, north into the Bronx, and back to Manhattan, finishing in Central Park. Mr. Mitey described the race as, “tiring, painful, and yet exhilarating.”

“You’ll feel like you can’t go any further, you’ll fall, you’ll feel lost, but dig deep within ourselves and overcome the pain and keep going,” Mr. Mitey said of the challenge. Many people will find these words to be very inspiring. Some people get scared when they read a quote like that and believe they don’t have the strength or energy to do it. They don’t believe it, because it appears impossible or too difficult. But, what in life isn’t difficult? Mr. Mitey advises taking things, “one step at a time, just like in life.” Running once a week and rewarding yourself with a long nap could count as that step; nothing too crazy. Mr. AchalalĀ  noted, “It’s difficult and tough, but if you put your heart into it and train hard enough, you can do it.” Uplifting words that can hopefully persuade you and your friends to possibly support, or join, any future marathons.