The Marathon season has moved to autumn. October 2nd sees the London Marathon, November the 6th brings the New York equivalent. Both are run on what most runners consider ‘flat tracks’ – good places to record a ‘PB’ (personal best). The Athens’ Marathon, run over the original route from Marathon to Athens, is an altogether different beast. You’d expect that, after all it’s a thing of legend, the mother of all Marathons.
If you’re running it this year, or thinking of running it in 2023, it needs the best possible preparation – and that’s where we can help.
BUT FIRST – THE LEGEND
The legend surrounds a man called Pheidippides (pron. Fy-dippi-deeze) who, in 490 BCE, ran the 25 odd miles from the battlefield at Marathon back to Athens to announce the result of a battle with the Persians. But there’s a lot more to it than that – previously he had run 150 miles to Sparta in two days to try and get the Spartan army to turn out as back-up. Then he had to run back to the battlefield to announce they weren’t going to come. (Don’t mention it in the tavernas, the Athenians have long memories!)
THE ORIGINAL RESULT – NIKE!
Somehow the much-outnumbered Athenian army managed to win the day and the leg weary messenger was despatched to the Acropolis to report to the city elders that their valiant boys had overturned the odds. The story has it that he ran up the hill, shouted ‘Nike’ (we won), and then sadly died of exhaustion.
THE LONGEST UPHILL CLIMB OF ANY MARATHON
The Athens’ event has become a real crowd-pleaser recently and 60,000 runners are expected at the starting gate on November 13th, 2022, setting off in the footsteps of Pheidippides. We wish them luck – it’s one of the toughest ‘asks’ in any runner’s career, with over 20kms of climbing and some steep descents before you reach the end – these days the Panathinaikos Stadium. No runner can expect a PB on this track!
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE IS THE BEST POSSIBLE PREPARATION
It’s a particularly tough race if you’re running the course for the first time – you need to be properly prepared and that means you need local knowledge. We have a special 6-day (5 night) tour that gives you all you need to know. Flying in on the Thursday before the race the itinerary includes:
- Collection from the airport and transfer to your hotel in Glyfada on the Athens Riviera
- Guided tour of Marathon and drive down the classic route in the company of a running coach who will share all the ‘hacks’ on how to make sure you get round
- Historic Athens discovery run – the day before the race your running coach will lead you on a run through Athens, stopping to point out all the famous sights along the way
- Transfer from your hotel to the start of the race and collection at the end to transfer back to hotel
- A day’s R&R cruise to visit Hydra, Poros and Aegina – three lovely islands in the Saronic Gulf
- Transfer back to airport for your flight home
APPLICATIONS FOR 2023 WILL OPEN AROUND MAY 2023
Applications are now closed for this year’s event. But, if you’d like to think about running in 2023, either independently or with your club or a group of friends, do get in touch with us straight away. We can organise a complete Authentic Athens Marathon package and help secure entries.