"It was about 26 miles from Windsor Castle to the Olympic Stadium in West London at Shepherd’s Bush. The original plan had the runners coming into the stadium at the royal entrance and running about 585 yards, circling the track counterclockwise and finishing in front of the royal box, Davis said. But the royal entrance was deemed unsuitable; instead the runners entered at the opposite end of the stadium and, to enhance the view for the Queen and others, ran clockwise for 385 yards to the royal box.
The final yards made for a gripping and contentious result. Entering the stadium first on that hot and humid July day was an Italian pastry chef named Dorando Pietri. But he was exhausted, delirious. He turned the wrong way on the track, reversed course and began stumbling. According to news accounts, Pietri fell five times in that final quarter-mile.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, covered the race for The Daily Mail of London and wrote, “I caught a glimpse of the haggard, yellow face, the glazed, expressionless eyes, the long, black hair streaked across the brow.”
By assisting Pietri to his feet, race officials knew they were jeopardizing his gold medal. But as the official Olympic report said, “It was impossible to leave him there, for it looked as if he might die in the very presence of the Queen.”  "

It is not something I do for glory, because even in my small town there are dozens of better runners than I. It is not something I do for health, because as a physician and scientist of sorts, I can see the illogic of 26 miles somehow being better than, say, 5 miles. But I do do it. Because:
1) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once covered the race for The London Daily Mail.
2) Running is the only time I get entirely to myself. Mothers (and fathers) of young children, doctors and people who work retail will totally understand this.
3) I really love to run.

July 29, Marathon, here I come. Hopefully I will not require admission to The Deathstar