The word ‘athlete’ comes from the greek word ‘athletes’, which literally means: ‘the person who commits an act which transcends human limits’. From this perspective, only few modern sports can really take pride in their sheer ‘athletic’ nature. Most of them are rather ‘games’ than being acts which break human limitations.
Marathon race however is one of the most demanding sports on earth! Only to finish this forty-plus kilometer-race is a genuine act of transcendence! Marathon run thus, is a sincere statement of belief in human capacity to go beyond man’s biological limits.
The legend has it that Pheidippides, an athenian soldier specialized in running long distances in order to convey news from one place to another, ran from the place of the Battle of Marathon to Athens, in order to announce the Greek’s victory over the Persians at 490 B.C.
During the first modern Olympic games, which took place in Athens at 1896, we had the modern revival of this mythical race. A humble water-seller from Marousi, a suburb of Athens, Spyros Louis, was the winner of this first modern revival of the marathon race.
Since then, marathon became one of the most popular athletic events all over the world. But, there is only one genuine and classical marathon run, the Athens marathon Race!
Nowadays we have the annual Athens Marathon Run, every November. It is considered one of the most difficult and demanding marathon courses in the whole globe! The complete distance is 42 thousand and 195 meters. Its beginning is in Marathon, where Pheidippides started his own ‘marathon’ and its end is inside Panathinaiko Stadium, the stadium in which the first modern Olympic games took place.
This annual marathon, reaffirms every year the power of the human will and the unimaginable powers of the human soul! If it happens to be in Athens during this time of the year, it would be a terrible neglect not to see this superhuman athletic event!