As the 2008 London Marathon celebrates the centenary of the marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards, a standard now accepted worldwide, here is the story of how that bizarre distance was set and how events surrounding three of the competitors who made the biggest headlines in the 1908 Olympics have defined the sport ever since.
Written by John Bryant, who is a long-time marathon runner and who has helped develop the London Marathon for over 25 years, it will be launched at Marathon House on March 26th and published by John Blake Publishing on March 27th.
Published to coincide with the 2008 London Marathon
and to celebrate 100 years of ‘The Distance’
THE MARATHON MAKERS by John Bryant
The true story of the first modern marathon
As Sebastian Coe writes in his Foreword:
‘In the finest traditions of Chariots of Fire, John Bryant’s book vividly recreates one of the most dramatic days and events in sport – the 1908 Olympic Games Marathon in London, an epic contest which, along with the intense rivalries, idealism, controversies and spectacle of the Games shaped the evolution of modern sporting culture …. documented in a way that will inspire future generations.’
THE MARATHON MAKERS is a must-read for runners, armchair sports-fans and anyone who values inspiration.
John Bryant is a long-time marathon runner. He has worked as a Fleet Street journalist since 1971 and was most recently Editor-in-Chief of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph. He is the author of 3:59.4 – The Quest to Break the 4 Minute Mile and London Marathon – The History of the Greatest Race on Earth.
His passionate interest in sport and physical endeavour – both as a writer and a top-class competitor – led to his involvement in the London Marathon, which he has tirelessly promoted, helped develop and competed in for over 25 years. At one point in his marathoning career, he was hit by a car while training and had to fight his way back to running after being left in a wheelchair with a warning that he would never race again.
A lifelong athlete and Oxford Blue, John coached Olympic athlete Zola Budd and is a veteran of marathons around the world. He was a long-time captain of the world’s oldest cross-country club, the Thames Hare and Hounds, and a former county champion.
He is married with two children and lives in Surrey and Dorset.
JOHN BRYANT IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW
To be published in hardback by John Blake Publishing on March 27 at £14.99.
To be launched at a reception hosted by David Bedford at Marathon House on March 26.
The London Marathon takes place on Sunday April 13.
2008 marks the centenary of the marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards.
John Bryant is a long-time marathon runner. At one point in his marathoning career, he was hit by a car while training and had to fight his way back to running after being left in a wheelchair with a warning that he would never race