London and Boston Marathons

Almost 40,000 people took part in the London Marathon which was held in London, the capital of the United Kingdom on April 23. The men’s race winner was Daniel Wanjiru (from Kenya) with a time of 2:05:48. The women’s race winner was Mary Keitany (from Kenya) with a time of 2:17:01.

Many folks try and set world records during the London Marathon. This year, 40 new Guinness World Records were made. Some of them were for the fastest marathon dressed as a Mr. Potato Head, fastest marathon dressed as a three dimensional aircraft (Helicopter), and fastest marathon in a toilet roll costume.

A man dressed up as a gorilla walked the London Marathon on his hands and feet like the animal. He started on April 23, and 5 days later, he was still going. He is raising money to save endangered gorillas from extinction.

The Boston Marathon was held in Boston, USA on April 17. Over 27,000 runners took part in the race. Geoffrey Kirui (from Kenya) won the men’s race with a time of 2:09:37, and Edna Kiplagat (from Kenya) won the women’s race with a time of 2:21:52. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual city marathon and started in 1897.

Both of these races had a running distance of 42.195 kilometers (26.2 miles).

The distance of the marathon race was not fixed and the approximate distance of 40 km was used until 1921. This is when the organizers of the Olympics decided to use the marathon distance of the 1908 Olympics, which were held in London, UK. In those Olympics, the race had started at a castle called Windsor and finished in front of where the country’s royals sat in the Olympic stadium, an exact distance of 42.195 km.

Here is a video showing the highlights from the 1908 Olympic Games.

Image Credits: for the Guinness World Records image, for the gorilla image, for the marathon image