Darius attacked the Greeks at Marathon. Before the battle began Pheidippides ran 150 miles to Sparta to seek assistance. The Spartans were busy with a celebration and promised to be there in a few days. Meanwhile, the Athenians battled with Darius' troops and won a great victory losing few men to Darius' thousands.
After the battle Pheidippides ran 26 miles to Athens to bring news of the victory. Nobody is certain if this story is real or just a legend, but the kids got a better idea of how far he ran.
I run quite frequently, so planned to take the kids out on alternating days with me. They are good runners, but I didn't want to get stuck walking a long way back. The plan was to run every other day with each child while slightly increasing the distance.
The first day we completed a loop and then drove the route with the car to determine the distance; 3.8 km. The second day the distance was increased to a loop of 5.8 km. My son ran 4.9 km before needing to rest. My daughter made it to the third day and completed the entire 8.5 km loop before she decided that was enough running for her. Although it was much less than the 26 mile (42 km) Pheidippides ran, it was excellent for a child.
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