|King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria|
But I digress....why is the distance for a full marathon today 26.2 instead of 24.8 miles (the real distance from Marathon to Athens)? Well, in 1908 when the Olympic games were being held in England, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria requested that the race begin at Windsor Castle. Why? They wanted to Royal family to be able to see the start. I guess when you're King, you can pretty much get what you want.
|1908 London Olympic Marathon Route|
The marathon distance in other competitions kept varying in length until 1921 when it was decided that the official distance would be 26 miles and 385 yards, or 26.2 miles.
So, you can thank Edward and Alexandria for the extra 1.4 miles.