Persia, angered at the Greek's support for the Ionian's revolt, led an army of 40,000 soldiers into Greece. The Greeks met them on the plains of Marathon with a force of 10,000. The Greeks took the Persians by surprise by charging them. This strategy won the battle for them. The Greek messenger ran the 26 miles back to Athens to tell of the victory.
To this day, the Olympic games begin with the running of the torch and there is a 26-mile footrace called the marathon.