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The modern marathon is based on the story of Pheidippides, a Greek soldier who ran from Marathon to Athens in 490 BC to announce the victory of the Greeks over the Persians. The distance between the two cities was approximately 26 miles.
Although very few historians support this legend and its accuracy is contradicted by accounts from Herodotus, it inspired the first modern marathon held during the first modern Olympic games of 1896: a race of approximately the same length, commemorating Pheidippides. The official lenght of today's marathons is 26.2 miles (42 km).

There are more than 800 marathons contested throughout the world each year and arger ones like the San Francisco Marathon can have tens of thousands of participants, mostly recreational athletes. San Francisco runners are lucky enough to get the opportunity to run a marathon twice a year: the San Francisco marathon and the Nike Women's Marathon.
A full marathon is a real challenge, both physically and mentally, but the reward of having completed such a feat lasts a lifetime! 

San Francisco Marathon
What: Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 5km
When: Late July/ Early August

Nike Women's Marathon
What: Full Marathon, Half Marathon
When: October

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Full Marathons in San Francisco

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