The first person to run a marathon died immediately on completion.
At least, that's how the legend goes: Around 500 B.C., a Greek soldier was sent from Marathon, Greece, to Athens to announce the Athenian victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon. He ran the 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometers), delivered his message, and promptly died of exhaustion. He may have been better served to walk it.
That's exactly what many people are doing these days. Most of us still think of marathons as pure running events, but an increasing number of participants are walking the long haul, choosing a low-impact, heart-healthy and slower route to the finish line.
Walking a marathon isn't always easy, though, and not just because of the distance; there's also the issue of all those hardcore runners breezing by and, sometimes, time limits that cater only to their faster finishes. But some marathons welcome walkers with open arms -- and open time limits. For those looking to walk a 26.2-mile course to the cheers of onlookers, there are plenty of great options.
Some even have a racewalk category for competitive speed walkers.
In this article, we'll look at five of the most walker-friendly marathons out there, whether you speed walk or stroll. We'll find out what makes them great for walkers and how you can take part. We'll begin with the best-known marathon in the United States: the Boston Marathon. Well, not exactly the Boston Marathon.