In 490 BC there was a big war between the Persians and Greeks.
The Greeks had a messenger, Pheidippides. He ran to Sparta for two days to ask to help fight but they said no not till its a full moon. So he ran back and they started fighting again.
When the war ended... The Persians lost by having 6,400 dead and the Greeks won by only having 192 dead.
The Persians ran to their ships and tried to escape. They were planning on kidnapping the woman, kids, and olds.
The messenger had to run 40 kilometers back to Athens to tell them that we had won and that the Persians were coming. But when he got through the gates he shouted "Nike!" witch means victory then he went down to the floor and died.
From this great event , the first marathon race of the modern Olympic Games was run in 1896 in honer of Pheidppides.