When is a “Marathon” not 42K?

Marathons are races with a distance of 42.195 km—on land that is.  I recently discovered that there’s another “marathon” event in the Olympics that is much shorter than that!

Nope, not this kind of marathon!

Runners, especially those that have completed full marathons will roll their eyes whenever someone mentioned that they did a “marathon” even when the actual distance of the event is much shorter than that.  For running on land, that is accurate—anything shorter than 42.195 km is not considered a marathon.  But as I scoured the Tokyo 2020 website, I discovered there’s another marathon sport in the Olympics—marathon swimming!

Unlike the marathons we know, marathon swimming is “only” 10 km and like triathlons, it is held on open waters.  What’s interesting is that competitors are actually allowed to drink water and take food during the event!  I do hope this event from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics gets broadcasted as I’m really curious how the athletes do this!

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