A contemporary annual long-distance race that revives an actual incident of 490 BC in Athens, and became an official Olympic game.
The Athens Classic Marathon is an annual race with a total distance of 42,195 kilometers 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.
This was an idea of French historian and the father of the modern Olympic Games Pierre de Frédy or 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 ιν 490 BC and after the victory, he ran from Marathonas to Athens to announce their victory and, according to the myth, he died immediately afterward 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 center of Athens. During the days of the Classic Marathon, conferences and symposiums take place and the opening ceremony is very interesting since it also includes the lighting of the Flame of Marathon.
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