local-kiwi-alien

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Authentic Marathon

 On Sunday 12th November 18,500 runners from 101 countries will run the 42.195 kilometres (26.2 miles) from Marathon to Athens.  They follow the original route run by Pheidippides as he raced to announce  to the Athenians  the greek army's victory over the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.  Poor Pheidippides gasped out his message of victory, 'We won' and dropped down dead from exhaustion.  




 The marathon began as an athletic event in the first modern Olympic games in 1896.  Greek runner Spiros Louis won that first marathon.  Another Greek Harilaos Vasilakos won  second place.  Spiros Louis became a national hero and his name is still revered 120 years later. 

The Authentic Marathon, as it is called, is run every November and this is its 35th anniversary.  If you don't think you can run 42 kms then there are concurrent road races over 5 and 10 kms.  There is also a Special Olympic race of 1,200 kms and a childrens race of the same distance.




The race begins in the town of Marathon, passing the funeral mound honouring the Athenian soldiers who fell in the battle and ends at the Panathinaic Stadium in the centre of the city.  An Olympic torch is lit at the Tomb of the Battle of Marathon and carried to the stadium at the beginning of each race.

You must be at least 18 years old and you've got 8 hours to finish the course.  The winners take just over two hours to complete the race.




This must be the top international marathon event, treading in the footsteps of history.  250 buses transport the athletes to the starting point in Marathon. 

 They run through farmland and small towns, spurred on by residents and live music until reaching city limits about the 30km mark.  The last stretch passes the Hilton Hotel,  the Presidential Residence, the American Embassy.  Then the Stadium, called the Kalimarmaro, comes into view, the road lined with thousands of cheering spectators.
The Panathinaic Stadium, locally known as the Kalimarmaro, is where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896.




I shall be watching from home and the comfort of my armchair.  May the best man and woman win.

Rain forecast for tomorrow so the woodburner will be fired up early afternoon. The fisherman caught a tuna today so I'll just pop that in the oven on top of the fire and maybe a loaf of bread later on.  There's always a little wine on hand. Looks like another chill-out day in rural wintry Greece.  

And most important, our neighbour dropped in this afternoon and gave us a huge block of chocolate she brought back from a recent trip to Roumania (where she toured half a dozen Orthodox monasteries).  I'm not turning up my nose at Roumanian chocolate. Looks delicious, chock full of hazelnuts.


8 comments:

  1. I’m with you! I cannot run. Not even if a bear was after me!
    Yup sitting in front of the fire with chocolate and wine. Sounds perfect

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    1. Great one Angela. Lucky there are no bears in Australia!

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  2. Your final sentence worried me, I can't stand nuts in chocolate! The two separately; yes.

    I don't run, but I did once cycle from London To Brighton (65 miles) with about 2,000 others.

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    1. I'm usually with you on the nuts but when its given to you I'm prepared to try, just about, anything. I tried some last night. Not bad at all. Rum and raisin would have been better but that's probably asking a bit too much of Romania.
      How on earth do you bike with 2,000 others. Or run with 18,499 others. The start must be a stampede

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  3. How much would you pay for a bottle of wine LA?

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    1. 2.50 euros for a 1 1/2 litre plastic bottle of local red or white. Very drinkable

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  4. 6 men and 1 woman from Poros were there!!!

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    1. That's a lot of people for little Poros! Bravo. See next post!

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