The 34th "Athens Marathon. The Authentic" marks 120 years from the first contemporary Marathon race, an athletic event inspired by the ancient course of the legendary Athenian hoplite hemerodromos after the Battle of Marathon. In the spring of 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. The race was won by Greek athlete Spyros Louis, whose historic victory stands as a symbol of tireless effort, stamina as well as the breaking of physical and mental barriers. Key to the race was also the presence of Greek runner Charilaos Vasilakos, who won the second place. Louis and Vasilakos, the two Greek runners, became the first two Olympic victors in the history of the Marathon race. This race, which was launched during the inaugural Olympic Games of the modern era, became one of the most popular athletic events all over the world, with millions of participants and supporters.
This year also marks 70 years from 1946, when leading Greek runner Stelios Kyriakides won the Boston Marathon, achieving one of
the major Greek athletic successes internationally, while also demonstrating humanity and great love for his country.
The Athens Marathon, the only race conducted along the original course from Marathon to Athens and the Panathenaic Stadium, remains an emblematic event for all long-distance aficionados. In its present form it is held continuously from 1983 on, dedicated to Grigoris Lambrakis, the great Greek doctor, champion in the Balkan Athletic Games and pacifist.
The Authentic Marathon is a unique race. SEGAS, the Hellenic Athletic Federation, invites you to participate in it or attend it as spectators, in order to experience in full the thrill of the top running event.
Have a successful race!