Running as a competitive sport originated from different parts of the world. One of the earliest recorded running competitions was held in Ireland as part of the sporting festival also known as Tailteann Games in 1829 BC. In 776 BC, the first event of the first ever Olympic games in Greece was a foot race.
As for marathons, it commemorates the legendary Greek soldier Pheidippides who was believed to have run 40 kilometers from Marathon, Greece to Athens in 490 B.C. The first marathon in modern Olympic events was held in 1896. Though the marathon became part of the Olympic Games, the distance was not standardized until 1921 by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).
In 1860s, track and field events were introduced in the United States. By 1873, the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America was already holding races.
It’s true that the marathons became a part of the modern Olympics in 1800s, but it was considered as an all-male sport then. It was in Summer Olympics of 1984 when women were allowed to participate in their very own Women’s Marathon.
There are debates on who really invented jogging. However, the word was coined in 1962 by Arthur Lydiard from New Zealand. It is around the same time when it was discovered that running or jogging is beneficial to physical health and was considered a means of exercise.
Since the discovery of health benefits of running, more studies were conducted to prove that running is indeed an excellent work out. Today, modern science even reveals that running is good for mental health, too.
From 19th century up to now, running is still popular worldwide. There are even new inventions created to improve and maximize running performance. Treadmills, Aqua jogging, inventions of running shoes to boost performance, and many innovations related to the workout. Being easily accessible to most people, it won’t come as a surprise if this exercise will continue to gain more popularity in the future.