Marathon for Women: The marathon is a running event of 42.195 kilometer or 26 mile 385 yards length. The origin of the event is Greece. There are many myths about the starting of the marathon race. The event was included in the modern Summer Games as a result of the initiatives taken by Michel Breal of France.
The distance covered in the Olympic marathon race was not predetermined. The length of the event depended on the length of the route selected for the race, which varied from venue to venue. In 1921, the distance of the marathon race was specified by the International Amateur Athletic Federation or IAAF to be 42.195 kilometer or 26 mile 385 yards. Some of the major marathon races held at present are staged at New York City, Chicago, London, Boston, Berlin, Washington D.C., Honolulu, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome. The event demands extreme physical and mental strength on the part pf the athletes. They have to be able to endure the suffering during the long race.
Marathon for Women in Summer Olympics: The marathon race was introduced to the women's athletics program at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games. After the 1984 Games, the event has been contested regularly at the Summer Games.
Rules for Marathon for Women: The International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF is authorized to set rules for the track and field events. The rules important for the marathon at the international competitions are -
- The marathon race has to be staged on made up road. The athletes cannot run on soft or grassy lands.
- The starting and finishing points of the marathon should be properly and distinctively marked.
- The distance of the running route in kilometer should be informed to the athletes during the race.
- Different stages of the race have to be well marked for the convenience of the athletes participating in the event.
- An athlete competing in the marathon has to leave the race if ordered by an official medical staff.
- Runners cannot take refreshment at places other than the specified refreshment stations.
- During the marathon, an athlete can leave the road only with prior permission of a judge. The athlete has to be under supervision of the judge during her stay out of the course, so that she cannot take any short cut route.
- The athlete, who is unable to finish the race, is not given any credit for her performance.
Medal Winners in the Marathon for Women: Mizuki Noguchi, Naoko Takahashi, Fatuma Roba, Paula RadcliffeValentina Yegorova, Rosa Mota, Joan Benoit, Catherine Ndereba, Lidia Simon, Yuko Arimori, Lisa Martin, Grete Waitz, Deena Kastor, Joyce Chepchumba, Lorraine Moller and Katrin Dorre are the leading athletes in the domain of the marathon race at international level.