Greece has been getting a pounding from economists in recent months, but millionaires' magazine Forbes has named the Athens Classic Marathon as one of the must-run marathons abroad for its more energetic and time-rich readers. The Athens race, which begins in the town of Marathon and finishes inside the Panathenaikon “Marble” Stadium in Athens - whose history, as Forbes points out, is how the 42.195k event gets its name - is one of just ten marathons worldwide highlighted by the rich-list magazine.

Potential entrants for the Authentic Marathon, as it is known internationally, would do well to get online ASAP. The registration period for ACM 2012, on Sunday, November 11, opened two weeks ago, and numbers are limited.

But Forbes is not the only high-end periodical taking to the road. In fact, their list of ‘marathons worth travelling for,’ may well be a latter-day response to an article in the Wall St Journal three years ago, which suggested that the upsurge in marathon entries was linked to rising unemployment, ie more time to train.

Athens certainly fits the bill, and has been a beneficiary. In tandem with the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon two years ago, race numbers escalated from below 4000 to a limit of 20,000. That was probably too many, given that the road out of Marathon itself is not so wide.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the event’s revival, and accordingly a limit of 30,000 runners has been imposed for the three events, five and 10k, and marathon, with numbers for the last just 12,500. Organisers urge prospective marathoners to get their entries in soon.

The race from Marathon to Athens is, of course the original marathon event, first run in 1896, initially a trial for the Greek Olympic team, then for the first Olympic Games of the modern era. The last 30 years the same course has been used for the Marathon event of the 1982 European Athletics Championships (where the legendary marathon runner Rosa Mota ran the first ever official IAAF women’s marathon), for the 1997 IAAF World Championships, and of course, for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

In tandem with the race’s 30th anniversary, it is also the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Association of International Marathons (AIMS), which opened its international office in Athens last year. The many invitees for this year’s race will include marathon luminaries and legends of the past.