Distance runners worldwide are this year celebrating the feat of one Athenian solder who, 2500 years ago, ran 40km from Marathon to Athens to pass on a message of victory.
His run led to a race called the marathon, introduced at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 to challenge man’s powers of endurance.
This year entries in the annual Athens Classic Marathon sold out within days. The course from Marathon to Athens follows the route of that first Olympic marathon.
A special commemorative medal has been cast for this hugely significant anniversary.
The package includes a ribbon, display stand and history pamphlet and can be ordered directly online or from selected major marathons worldwide.
In 490BC the Persian army of 150,000 planned to invade Greece, launching their attack from the Marathon gulf, north of Athens. Persia had one of the greatest fighting forces of the time.
In defence, the Athenians had 10,000 citizen-soldiers. Against all odds, they won the battle, with 192 dead, against Persian losses of 6,400. The Athenians were buried in a mound at the battle site, remembered today as the Tomb of Marathon.