It is held annually, during the last weekend of September. The ultra-marathon boastsan impressive historical background and is regarded as one of the most difficult and interesting ultra distance races in the entire world. Runners have the unique opportunity to revive the course of the Athenian long-distance runner Pheidippides, who, according to Herodotus, covered the entire distance between Athens and Sparta in a single day, in order to get help for the impending battle of Marathon in 490 BC.
The history of the event is no less impressive: in 1982, five officers of the British Royal Air Force, long-distance runners themselves, travelled to Greece, led by Colonel John Foden, who had conceived the original idea. Inspired by the Herodotus' narrative, they wanted to ascertain whether it was humanly possible to cover the approximately 250 kilometres that separate the two cities within one and a half day. The enthusiastic British team ultimately proved that Herodotus was right. The challenging undertaking was thus met with great success and enthusiasm, so the mastermind of the endeavour, John Foden, was able to envision the establishment of a great race on that very same route run by the ancient runner and described by the "father of History" that would gather long-distance runners from every corner of the world to Greece, the cradle of classical marathons.