Running is a very strenuous, exciting activity that many people do competitively and for recreation. Whether you jog around your block or compete in an ultramarathon, running is one of the best ways to exercise your body and get healthy.
A 10k foot race is a track and field event where people run approximately six miles. This even is very popular with beginning runners and is approximately half the distance of a half marathon. It takes about eight weeks of slow and easy training to get yourself in prime condition to participate in a 10k race.
A 5k foot race is a long-distance track and field event and is a little longer than 3 miles. Most runners start with this even first because it is relatively easy to train for and gets them involved in the competitive aspects of running. Most people can run this kind of race if they've been able to run at least a mile and a half before.
A half-marathon is 13.1 miles and half the length of a marathon. It is much easier to train for and a lot less dangerous than running a marathon, so more people enjoy running half-marathons. The fastest time for a half-marathon is 62 minutes and 56 seconds, which is slightly under 5 minutes a mile. Many cities and states hold various half-marathon events with participants both running and walking.
A marathon is a foot race that is a little over 26 miles long. The original ancient Greek marathon runner, Phiedippides, actually collapsed as soon as he finished running. The marathon was one of the first Olympic events when the Olympics started in 1896. It was originally 24.55 miles but that has increased to 26.22 and stayed that way ever since 1924. The world's fastest marathon time is two hours, three minutes and 59 seconds.
After a certain point in a workout, when you've been exercising for more than usual and for a continuous stretch in time, your body will release endorphins, or feel-good chemicals, that result in a feeling of happiness that some people call a "Runner's High." Recent research in Germany his proven this phenomenon.
Triathalons first became popular in France in the 1920's and 30's. They are sequences of athletic events: swimming, bicycling and running, over various distances. Really strenuous triathalons, called the Ironman, include a 2.4 mile swim, an 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run.
For runners who crave more of a challenge and aren't content running just a 26.22 mile marathon, there are things called ultramarathons that can go on for longer. As many as 70,000 runners a year participate in ultramarathons of 50 and 100 miles, 50 and 100 kilometers as well as timed and multi-day runs of 6, 12, 24 and 48 hours or even runs that last six days. Most countries in the world have some sort of ultramarathon going on.