The Athens Marathon will continue to go ahead as planned on 8 November although an elite field won't be invited due to costs
The “Athens Marathon. The Authentic” will still go ahead this autumn albeit in a slightly different form to normal on 8 November.
In the light of the economic challenges facing the country and its people, the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS) has decided to forego inviting an elite field in the marathon in order to concentrate on a race for mass runners, including the 5km and 10 km road races which complete the day’s programme.
Parts of the money saved will be used to further improve services and entertainment for the mass runners.
A record number of 16,000-plus runners are expected to take to the classic course from the town of Marathon to the 1896 Olympic Stadium in the heart of Athens which was the route used for the 1997 World Championships and 2004 Olympic Games.
In total 43,000 runners are expected to take part in all the running events on offer.
With this gesture, the organisers invite runners from around the world to run the Athens Marathon in solidarity with the Greek people at this testing time. Online entry for the marathon race is still available on the website at www.athensauthenticmarathon.gr.
The ninth edition of the AIMS Marathon Symposium will also take place on the same weekend with the main theme being: “Doping Threats in Long Distance Running”. Among the speakers there will be prominent specialists from AIMS, IAAF and WADA as well as marathon organisers and coaches.
The third edition of the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards Gala will take place in Athens as well. The winner of the world titles in Beijing later this month, the holders of the fastest times of the year, plus possible world record breakers in the marathon and half marathon are expected to be among the candidates for this prestigious award.
Last year’s awards were scooped up by recently crowned world marathon record-holder Dennis Kimetto and team-mate Florence Kiplagat who broke the world half marathon record in Barcelona at the start of the year.