Long-distance races cover the marathon, a road race of 42.2 km and pure endurance.
The marathon was originally a race run between two Greek cities.
The current world records for the marathons are an astonishing 2h04min55sec for men and 2h15min25sec for women. This record is being held by Paula Radcliffe, the British athlete who runs with the ease and pace most casual runners cannot match for 5 km only. Many sports scientists have voiced the opinion that the marathon might be the event where the women might catch up and overtake their male counterparts.
To illustrate the pace at which the world’s best marathon runners complete the 42.2 km, have a look at the following comparative calculations:
Running 42.2 km in 2h04min55sec equals a pace of 2.9 min/km, and keeping this up for more than two hours. This matches the pace of a very fast 10km race.