According to the Greek historian Herodotus, who was born in the year of the battle, an Athenian soldier named Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta to ask for assistance. This event was later turned into the popular legend that Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens. The traditional story relates that Pheidippides, an Athenian herald, ran the 42 km (26 miles) from the battlefield by the town of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) with the word "Νενικήκαμεν!" (Nenikèkamen, We were victorious!) and died on the spot.
Ancient, Sports - Misc
Since the modern games were founded, it has become a tradition for the men's Olympic marathon to be the last event of the athletics calendar, with a finish inside the Olympic stadium, often within hours of the closing ceremonies.
This tradition was further enhanced by a much older tradition in the 2004 Summer Olympics, as the long-established route from Marathon to Athens ended at Panathinaiko Stadium, the venue for the 1896 Summer Olympics.