By Ioanna Venieri
THE 38TH ATHENS MARATHON WILL BE HELD THIS YEAR ON NOVEMBER 13 AND 14, 2021, AT 9.00 AM AND IS ALWAYS DEDICATED TO THE BALKAN GAMES WINNER, DOCTOR AND PACIFIST GRIGORIS LAMBRAKIS. THOUSAND ATHLETES FROM GREECE AND FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD WILL HAVE THE HONOUR OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS BRILLIANT EVENT, THAT AIMS TO TOP WORLD SPORT EVENTS AND TOURISM.
The “Athens Marathon, the Authentic” is expected to be held this year with the dynamic participation of athletes from Greece and every corner of the world”. The event is internationally renowned with global appeal and importance for the country on multiple levels including sports, culture and tourism. The birth for the idea of the Marathon Run is identified with the epic of the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. The route of 42,195 meters which Pheidippides, the heroic hoplite, ran to bring the joyful news of the victory for the battle of Marathon to the Athenians and to shout Nenikikamen” («we are victorious») before he died, highlighting the greatness of human power, both mental and physical. At the same time, it has become an occasion for athletes from all over the world to come together in Greece and compete in the spirit of good sportsmanship and traveling the same distance! The idea to include the Marathon Run as sports event was conceived by the French linguist, intellectual and Hellenist Michel Breal, a friend of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who suggested to have athletes, the modern day heroes of classic athletic events, run the same distance as Pheidippides. The Marathon Run dates back to March 10, 1896, when the Panhellenic Qualifying Games were being held, to choose six athletes that would participate in the first modern Olympic Games. The route for the Marathon in first Games of 1896 was based on the route Pheidippides ran and became the model Marathons around the world, known as the “Classic Route”.
Dedicated to peace…
In 1993, SEGAS made the decision to rename the popular marathon to “International Peace Marathon Grigoris Lambrakis”, in honor of the great athlete, member of the parliament, Balkan Games winner, doctor and pacifist, who on April 21, 1963 completed a Marathon Peace walk during which he received death threats because of his political beliefs and was eventually arrested. For this reason, the Marathon Run will always be dedicated to the memory of Grigoris Lambrakis and will always bear the Message of Peace.
The goal is to finish!
The starting point of the Marathon Run is the monument that was inaugurated during the Marathon of the Pan-European Games of 1969 and was maintained until 2003, when it was renovated for the Olympic Games of 2004. The route of 42,195 meters athletes run and is considered the most difficult in the world, and reach the Panathenaic Stadium, where the finish takes place. In this Authentic Marathon, which is not only classic, but also unique, because it starts from the Marathon and ends in Athens, SEGAS invites Greek athletes, but also all the runners of the world to run it, at least one time in their lives. It is an experience worth living.