Record registrations prove runners want to support Greece during a time of economic turmoil.
Just 48 hours after registrations opened, all places in the 5km and 10km road races were filled and, within three weeks, more than 6,000 marathon entries had been received.
“The interest shown by runners from abroad is more than impressive,” organisers said.
They are grateful for the belief shown in the event by runners worldwide – and for their support.
“The message we received from a runner saying ‘If this is a little bit of a contribution to help the people and nation of Hellas in a time of European turmoil, I will be very happy to be there’ is typical of the way the entire running community feels.”
Athens Marathon – The Authentic is worthy of international support. It is the world’s most historical marathon, commemorating the original run by Pheidippedes from Marathon to Athens in 490BC to announce victory over the Persians.
Beginning at the stadium in Marathon, runners face a challenging course to the ancient Panathinaikon Stadium in Athens. After 4km there is a circuit of the famed 490BC battle site and Marathon Tomb memorial. After that the course is hilly, with many steep ascents and descents interspersed with flat patches.
Finishing inside Panathinaikon Stadium is also a special experience. There has been a stadium on the site since 566BC and it hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. It is one of the oldest stadia in the world and the only one to be built entirely of marble.
Athens Authentic Marathon is traditionally run in memory of Gregoris Lambrakis, the Greek politician, doctor, athlete and peace activist who was assassinated in 1963. He was the sole finisher in a banned Marathon-Athens Peace Rally, held one month before his death, and used his parliamentary immunity to avoid arrest.
Lambrakis remained in the hearts of the Greek people as a national symbol of democracy, representing the struggle against political repression, Royal Court scandal and international dependence.