In the Greek city of Athens, women were waiting to know if their husbands were victorious or defeated by the Persians at the battle on the plain of Marathon (place located approximately 42 km) due to his Persian enemies had sworn that after defeating the Greeks They would go to Athens to plunder the city, and sacrifice girls.
Knowing this, the Greeks decided that if the women of Athens did not receive the news of the Greek victory before 24 hours, coinciding with the sunset, would themselves who kill their children and then commit suicide. The Greeks won the battle, but it took longer than expected, so they risked their women, to ignore, ejecutasen the plan and kill the children and then committing suicide.
The Athenian general Miltiades the Younger decided to send a messenger to deliver the news to the Greek polis. And here the story is mixed with the legend: Pheidippides, besides having been fighting a whole day, I had to travel a distance of between 30 and 35 km to the news, since the city of Marathon is northwest of Athens, Not far. It took so much effort to reach your destination at the earliest, when he arrived, exhausted and fell before dying could only say one word: “νίκη” (-Níki- victory in ancient Greek).
Another version gives the historian Herodotus. According to him, Pheidippides was sent to Sparta to ask for military assistance to repel the invasion of the Persians, who were advancing towards Marathon. According to Herodotus, Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta in two days, covering 240 km. The founders of C.O.I. took the first version and set the distance of the race at 40 km, but there is an annual race in tribute to this feat called Spartathlon (Spartathlon) which covers the distance from Athens to Esparta.2 But there is no evidence that the ancient world would have been a competition like the marathon moderno.3
Herodotus wrote that Pheidippides ran the 246 km that separated to Athens to Sparta in two days. It was written 30-40 years after making it quite likely that Pheidippides is a historical figure. But the first known written account of a run from Marathon to Athens is the Greek writer Plutarch (46-120), in his essay On the Glory of Athens, where the race attributed to a herald called Thersippus or Eukles not Pheidippides. Luciano, a century later, Pheidippides attributes. It seems likely that in the 500 years since the time of Herodotus to Plutarch, has been the story of Pheidippides confused with the Battle of Marathon, and that some imaginative writer has invented the story of the run from Marathon to Athens . Apparently did Pheidippides Marathon-Athens (42 km) route but surely if you made the Athens-Sparta (246 km).
Many believe that only by Pheidippides marathon received its name, but that is incorrect, since in general the Greek soldiers were excellent riders and after the battle of Marathon entire Athenian army had run the distance Marathon to Athens to reach the coast his defenseless city before the Persian ships. When the Persians arrived they could not believe the incredible strength of these soldiers abandoned their attempts to conquer. So the feat of the race from Marathon to Athens should be attributed to athletic Athenian army before he ran hastily to defend his distant city to possibly Pheidippides was not there; and if he was, he ran along with the others.