The sport of running is undeniably the most ancient form of athletic competition. The mythological invention of the sport is found in such legends as that of
Herakles. The sport is so ancient that it is impossible to clarify its exact time and place of its origin. Because of the strong connection between ancient Greek mythology and the sport of running, it is no great surprise that this sport was considered to be of major importance. Children were educated at an early age in the techniques and philosophies of the sport of running, a sport which was established as a permanent feature in children's education.

At one point, runners wore a loin cloth around their waist. This was later abandoned, and runners competed completely naked. The one exception was the race in armor, in which runners carried a shield, a helmet, and shin plates.

Another piece of important equipment was the hysplex, a device constructed to ensure that all runners started at the same time.


Types and Rules of the Game
There were the following kinds of foot-race:
1. the
stade (a length of one stade or 200m race)
2. the
diaulos (a length of two stades, 400m race)
3. the
dolichos, or the long race (ranged between 7-24 stades, or 1,400-1,800m)

All runners were to start at the same time, under a specific word of command. 
Early starters were beaten and/or disqualified.

There was a code of honors all competitors kept. This code consisted of several basic principles of competition. These principles were not hindering other opponents by pushing, knocking, or holding them, and above all others, refraining from bribery or magic spells.

Characteristics of a Good Runner
Since running was the most practical and common form of exercise and sport in ancient Greece, there was never a deficiency in the number of talented athletes in this area. Athletes of this period were said to have amazing endurance and speed. The stature of successful runners varied; most important was the possession of great strength, speed and endurance.

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