How Long is a Marathon?

New Zealand Marathon

The standard length for any marathon is 42.195 km for a full race and 21.09 km for a half race. In a New Zealand marathon like the Auckland or Queenstown, it is 42.2 km and 21.1 km, respectively. For those who ask, “how long is a marathon?” The length was established as the official data by the International Association of Athletics Federation in 1921. 

The origin of the marathon distance is traced back to the ancient Greek messenger Pheidippides, who supposedly ran from the city of Marathon to Athens, a distance of around 40 kilometres, to deliver the news of the Greek victory over the Persians.

Time Limit 

The average time set for completing a full race marathon is six to seven hours, which means all participants are expected to have finished the race by then. However, this is different for everyone, and the time taken by an individual depends on several factors. This could be age, weight, experience, fitness level, track terrain, etc. 

That being said, there is no average time for individuals. Some people might average four hours for a full race, but experienced runners have been known to complete a full racetrack in two hours. 

How Long is a Marathon? — Course Measurement

For those who ask, “how long is a marathon?” you might also be interested in how this distance is measured. It is measured using the calibrated bicycle measurement. Here, a bicycle is ridden along the course while the number of wheel revolutions is counted, which is used to calculate the distance travelled by bicycle. This is done several times to improve the accuracy of results.