(Note to any vegan and vegetarian readers, please be advised the following content may disturb your sensibilities.)
Over 2 million years ago early humans began to develop a means of hunting animals versus scavenging. Anthropologists phrase it, persistence hunting. (Sounds like an offshoot of Crossfit in Alabama.) Essentially humans tracked and ran after game until it tired out. An interesting concept considering we are physically weaker than much of our prey and had yet to develop advanced weapons such as bow and arrow technology. But humans have something most other animals did not; we have chutzpah! Just kidding, we actually have endurance.
Many animals like cheetahs are faster than us however their speed does not sustain. It’s a quick sprint to attack another animal or move out of harms way. Humans on the other hand can go the distance beyond most quadruped mammals. Horses and dogs arguably have mighty, endurance but eventually hit an “overheating wall”. They must pant to cool themselves and cannot do so while galloping. Depending on the temperature they may only have maximum fifteen minutes before they must slow down or go into hyperthermia. The relatively hairless, human has a state of the art cooling system called sweating and long, elastic tendons due to bipedal mobility. These qualities allowed homo sapiens the ability to run for hours. So marathons are in perfect alignment with our evolutionary make up.
Baby, we were born to run!