There are lots of ideas, but nothing has taken hold.
A race of 13.1 miles is generally called a half marathon—but should it be termed something else?
A Wall Street Journal report that delves into the history of the half marathon raises this topic.
The 13.1-mile race has been the fastest growing race distance since 2003, according to Running USA. So why not change it to something that has a better ring?
“Branding 101: I don’t think naming anything half of anything else is a great way to optimize its ultimate value,” two-time U.S. 5,000-meter champion Lauren Fleshman told the Journal.
The Journal story mentions a comment that popped up on an Internet message board four years ago regarding the half marathon. The commenter’s idea for the new 13.1-mile name was Pikermi, a town in Greece that lies roughly halfway between Marathon and Athens.
The basis behind the idea makes sense, but the name never took hold.
A Philadelphia Inquirer article earlier this year made the case for a name change as well, while several blog posts pitch ideas for the Internet masses to read.
None of the pleas, however, have amounted to anything more than discussion.
So for now, the half marathon is still the half marathon.