Took the news to distant Athens.
A mighty battle had been won
Along the road at Marathon.
But poor Pheidippides he dropped dead.
No great ad for the race as happens.
But then in eighteen ninety six
It was reinvented for modern Olympics.
They raced for round twenty five miles.
Roughly the distance back to Athens.
It stayed that distance more or less
Quite far enough I must confess.
But then in nineteen hundred eight
Something slightly iffy happens
They change the distance for the Queen
To the length it’s ever since been.
From Windsor Castle to White City
Made the route just twenty six miles.
But Queen Victoria would be there,
Ought to finish in front of her.
So they fixed it twenty six point two;
And after twenty six hard miles,
Added three hundred eighty five yards.
To make the race that bit more hard.
Poor Pheidippides he dropped down dead
After running all of those miles.
Would he have got the message out
If he had to run the extra yards?
And runners coming to the line
Curse with scant breath the Empress Queen.
The finish not where it should have been.
It makes the race a bit more hard
To have to run the extra yards.