The legend of the first marathon is well-known in one form or another to marathon runners. Boaz Yakin and Joe Infurnari tell the story in a dramatic way in their graphic novel, Marathon. I am in no position to evaluate the historicity of their account. Probably no one is, given that CNN wasn't there to record the events in 490 B.C. The gist of the story is that the Athenians defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon, and a messenger ran all the way back to Athens to alert the city of the Athenian army's victory.
But was the runner Pheidippides? Or Eucles? According to Wikipedia, Plutarch was the first historian to mention this run, and he calls the runner Eucles. A later historian calls him Philippides. But of course the 19th century poet Robert Browning settled the matter with his poem Pheidippides, so now few remember the name Eucles. Whatever the name, the victory of the Athenians over the Persians was significant for the future of democracy and Western civilization, and worth remembering. Not to mention this race that thousands of us run every year. . . .
Yakin and Infurnari capture the history, the political background of the war, and the violent clashes in Yakin's sharp text and Infurnari's sketchy, sometimes chaotic illustration. I personally am not a big fan of the style of illustration, and both the illustrations and the text sometimes seemed to leave too many gaps in the story and in the action. Fans of graphic novels and movies with gladiator action will enjoy this bit of historical drama.
Marathon runners can relate to how he felt at the end of his run,
but most of us don't run while being pursued by armed men intent on killing us!