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Marathon Rules: Official Rules


​Marathon Rules: Official Rules

Get to know the Marathon Rules and understand how the most traditional and longest Olympic Athletics event is run.

​Main Marathon Rules

Below are the main official Marathon rules, according to the IAAF:

  • Distance of 42.195km;

  • The maximum gradient allowed on a marathon course is 1/1000;

  • The roads used for marathon races must remain closed to vehicles in all directions;

  • The marathon must be run on road, and no soft ground is allowed;

  • The start signal is made with a horn;

  • In races with a large number of competitors there are 5 minute, 3 minute and 1 minute warnings;

  • Along the race course there must be hydration stations, with sponges for refreshment and rest for the athletes;

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  • Marathon runners may not deviate from the race course without permission from the marathon officials;

  • The athlete who deviates from the course to shorten the path will be disqualified;

  • Marathon runners cannot receive any kind of outside help;

  • The athlete may be removed from the race by medical intervention;

  • The distance between the start line and the finish line must not be greater than half the marathon course, i.e. 22.098km (due to the influence of the wind).


Marathon Rules

​World Records in Marathon

Not all of the above Marathon rules are mandatory to run a race, however, in a race that does not follow the above rules and a world record is broken, it will not be valid.

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