34th Athens Marathon: Marks 120 Year Celebration


The 34th Annual “Athens Marathon. The Authentic” will take place on November 13th, 2016- marking 120 years from the first contemporary Marathon race- an athletic event inspired by the ancient course of the legendary Athenian soldier hemerodromos (courier in Ancient Greece who would run for a day) after the Battle of Marathon.

In 1896, during the first modern Olympics, athletes from five countries lined up at the starting line on the bridge of Marathon in order to cover the distance to the Panathenaic Stadium on a dirt path.

This year, the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS) has decided to concentrate on a race for mass runners, including the 5km and 10 km road races which complete the day’s programme.

For the first time, a comprehensive premium registration and hospitality program has been developed, addressed to runners travelling to Athens from all around the world, their companions and children.

“The Athens Marathon, the Authentic Marathon, is not just a sporting event, a hard race, a tough course of 42,195m. More than that, the Athens Marathon, the Authentic Marathon, is a bridge that unifies the legend with history; it showcases the strength of human will; it is a fountain of values, of social liability, environmental sensitivity, friendship and solidarity,” says SEGAS President Kostas Panagopoulos.

“In 2016, we are celebrating the 34th anniversary of the Athens Marathon, the Authentic Marathon, and we hope that our strong efforts along with your presence and participation in the race will turn this year’s event into a milestone for the years to come.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Panathinaikon Stadium on 13 November 2016,” he adds.

The Athens Marathon is the only race conducted along the original course from Marathon to Athens, and the Panathenaic Stadium remains an emblematic event for all longdistance runners.

Last year, a record number of 16,000 runners went to the start line of the original marathon race at the coastal town of Marathon, marking a rise of almost 25 percent from 2014. SEGAS recorded a total of 43,000 entries for the classic race and the shorter distance events, held the same day.

This year, SEGAS is expecting more than 50,000 participants of all ages to take part in the country’s largest annual sporting event.

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GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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