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Athens - Athens Classic Marathon Athens Classic Marathon
Classic Marathon
The Athens Classic Marathon is an annual race with total distance of 42,195 km which takes place usually in the beginning of November. It is an official Olympic race since the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. It was an idea of French Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin who wanted to incorporate in the Games "that famous race the soldier of Marathonas ran". He was referring to an Athenian soldier who fought in the battle of Marathonas against the Persians and after the victory he ran from Marathonas to Athens to announce their victory and, according to the myth, he died immediately afterwards because of his exhaustion. This myth gives to the Classic Marathon a symbolism of peace and becomes more and more popular amongst athletes and people from all over the world who want to participate. Apart from being the original route, it is also one of the most difficult ones because the athletes have to go uphill and downhill several times. The race starts from Marathonas and ends in Panathinaikon Stadium, or Kallimarmaro, in the centre of Athens. During the days of the Classic Marathon, conferences and symposiums take place and the opening ceremony is very interesting since there is also the lightning of the Flame of Marathon.
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