The Athens Marathon has a unique place in the marathons listed worldwide, as it is carried out on the authentic marathon route. The starting point of the race is right next to the Marathon Tomb and runs through several municipalities up to Athens, ending up in the emblematic Panathenaic Stadium.
The story behind the Athens Marathon: It is said that a Greek soldier, in 490 B.C. ran from Marathonas to Athens, a little over 42 km (26 miles), to bring news to the Athenians’ of their victory against the Persians.
The story of the Marathon’s messenger was later conflated with the story of another Greek soldier, Pheidippides, who ran from Athens to Sparta. The sporting event that commemorates the previous historic fact is Spartathlon. This ultra-marathon, counting 246 km, covers a demanding and difficult route, which starts from the Acropolis in Athens and ends up in the city of Sparta. Either you participate or simply attend in order to cheer up the participants, prepare to feel the chills run down your spine.
Credits: Elias Lefas
© Elias Lefas
It would be quite bizarre not to follow the worldwide trend of running, as Greece is the country that gave birth to the Olympic Games. There has been an escalation in race events organised all over Greece and an increase in participants. Road running in city centres with races from 5 to 10km; adventurous trail running in Greece’s nature with breathtaking elevation gain; semi-marathons and marathons as well as ultra-marathons are conducted every year in Greece, in which renown athletes participate.
Run Greece is a special event series which has been introduced by the Greek Athletics Federation (SEGAS) in accordance with Prefectures and Municipalities around Greece. These events have turned out in being a celebration of a healthy lifestyle and a chance to gather up people of all ages and physical levels, in order to get them in shape and running.
Races are organised all year round. On the islands of the Aegean to the Ionian Sea, on Crete, in the Peloponnese and in the mainland north or south, you name it, people flock to these events wanting to live a day like an athlete, trying hard to overcome their own set goals. Either you feel like running up the Olympus trail to great the Gods or simply want to run any ordinary race, Greece has one that will suit you, so next time you visit, make sure to combine your vacation with some athletic event. Experience the rejuvenating sense of exercising your body which simultaneously (as ancient Greeks used to say) trains your mind.
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