Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Getting the Facts Straight

Last week there was quite a bit of laughter that so many lefties didn't get Sarah Palin's reference to 1773. (The original Boston Tea Party) Reading Instapundit today, I noticed an oft told myth.
WITHOUT PROPER TRAINING, RUNNING A MARATHON CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEART. Well, remember what happened to the first guy who ran one.
Instapundit's reference is to the first person, Pheidippides, to run a marathon dying. The trouble is, Pheidippides didn't die.
The Athenian generals sent Pheidippides, a professional runner, to Sparta to ask the spartans to help fight the Persian army, who had arrived by ship at Marathon. Pheidippides completed the 145 mile journey and arrived in Sparta the day after he left Athens. He delivered the Generals' request, then returned to Athens with the Spartan's reply - which was that due to observances they could not leave Sparta until the full moon. Upon receiving this news the generals decided to attack the Persians anyway, the result being an Athenian victory against seemingly overwhelming odds.
Herodotus makes no mention of Pheidippides dying.

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