How Long is a Marathon?

To many people the prospect of completing a marathon is the accomplishment of a lifetime’s goal. A challenge of both endurance and mental stamina during marathon training and the race itself. Very few people could tell you the answer to the question ‘how long is a marathon’ and after realising the answer even fewer would be able to actually run that distance. 

The official marathon distance is 26.2 miles or 41.2 kilometres in length. Completion of the race can take runners anywhere from 2 hours 4 minutes (the fastest marathon time ever recorded at the time of writing set by Paul Tergat of Kenya) to 8 hours or more for some of the less fitter or novice runners.

There are well over 800 organised marathons arranged each year all over the world and in some of the largest towns and cities. Barcelona, New York, Athens, Stockholm and London are some of the hosts of the most famous and most popular marathons.

Some of the larger events have tens of thousands of applicants for the race, many of whom won’t be accepted as the available places are far fewer than those wanting to take part. Some of these races have had to operate a lottery type application process because of the high volume of interest. Entrants are randomly selected as opposed to simply choosing to run in these races. 

The rise in popularity of marathons has also led to an increase in the amount of charities using the events to raise funds. In order to do this, charities give places to runners in exchange for the person running raising money in the form of sponsorships. This method of raising money has proven to be a great way to boost funds.

Selecting a good cause to run a marathon for is a very effective way of motivating yourself to actually do it. Choosing a marathon that has a certain relevance to you will provide an emotional reason to keep going when the going gets tough. 

Regardless of what the charity is, the opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause at the same time as overcoming a personal challenge holds a huge appeal for the many people who enter marathons each year.

Running 26.2 miles isn’t something you can do without any preparation or training for the event. It is essential to understand exactly how your body will cope with the challenge and through a progressive and regular marathon training schedule you can achieve this.

Most people have the potential to be able to run 26.2 miles, but most won’t because of the time and effort it takes to prepare themselves for the event. 

If you like the thought of running a marathon and you’ve often wondered ‘how long is a marathon’ and are considering running one yourself then you need to follow a schedule designed specifically for a beginner. ‘Marathon Training For Beginners’ is an entertaining and easy to use marathon training schedule for complete beginners that want to learn how to successfully run a marathon in the shortest possible time, without experiencing potentially serious long term injury problems and over training pitfalls that most beginners face.