It wasn't 26 miles that inspired first-time graphic novelist Boaz Yakin to write about the first marathon runner. It was actually four.
The 45-year-old New York City filmmaker was doing his regular jog in the park — "at the end of which I generally feel like death on two legs," he adds — when a mini-marathon of people of all ages started to pass him.
Yakin immediately thought of the popular story of the runner of legend, who ran 26 miles to Athens to tell his people of a turning-point victory in the Greco-Persian Wars and died on arrival.
"I was like, have people gotten in so much better shape today that 60-year-olds commonly run 26 miles, and a few thousand years ago a young warrior died if he tried it? Was he wounded or what?" Yakin says.