Friday, November 6, 2015

Among all the Olympic sport events, the Marathon Race stands out, born by a historic and heroic event, the triumphant run of Pheidippides, a soldier-herald from ancient Athens, who announced - with his last words - the victory of the Greeks against the Persians in the Marathon Battle in 490 BC. 

The 42,195m Marathon Race became one of the most competitive and prominent events at the modern revival of the Olympic Games in 1896, when Greek runner Spyros Louis - running what has since been referred to as the Original Marathon Course from the ancient city of Marathon to the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens - won the gold medal and became a legend in Greek and International Athletics.
The Athens Marathon began in 1972, evolving in the process into a major race awarded Gold Label Road Race status by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Since 1982, it has been dedicated to Grigoris Lambrakis, the doctor, athlete, pacifist and Member of Parliament, who was assassinated in 1963 and became a symbol of human rights. 

With only two more days to go, this year’s 33rd Athens Authentic Marathon (Nov 8) is expected to reach new record highs. The Greek athletics federation (SEGAS) estimates that some 43,000 athletes will take part, with about 16,000 participating in the classic Marathon race, while the others will run in the various shorter races taking place simultaneously in Athens (10km Race, Morning and Afternoon 5km Races, Kids’ Run). 

Apart from the sporting experience, runners will have the chance to enjoy traditional Greek hospitality, discover the fascinating landscape and explore a city that uniquely combines the ancient, the old and the modern.