The Athens Marathon is one of those races that most marathoners want to do at some point in their life. It retraces the route that Phediapedes took in bringing the news of the Battle of Marathon. It is this run in 490BC which has been the basis for the marathon that so many millions have enjoyed since.
No Elite Field At Athens Marathon
But, with the difficulties that Greece has been through already this year, money is being squeezed from everywhere. Fortunately, the race itself will still go on (and organizers say it will draw over 16,000 runners) but they have cut the elite competition. Unless you were planning on winning for the money, there is certainly no reason not to run it if you had planned on it!
- The race takes place November 8
- It is held in Athens, Greece
- The cost of entry is €100
In marathons, organizers try to bring in elite class runners as fast times bring more money and bigger sponsors (typically). The more a race offers elite runners as a prize purse, the better runners that will show up. In some of the larger marathons, they will even pay appearance fees to the big names in the sport to ensure a more prominent place in the marathon world as well as better media coverage and sponsorship.
The classic Athens Marathon draws many runners just from its pure history and its contribution to the sport as we know it today. Of course, elite runners like to be able to run for the chance to win both the race and prize money but that will not happen this year. The marathon prize purse was not as large as other marathons (€7,000 for the men’s non-Greek winner) but it was still enough to draw some better runners. Without it, there will be many that will skip it.
Even without the elite field, the organizers still think that this will be the largest marathon field ever. It is just unfortunate that the marathon itself was also touched by the economic woes that have beset the nation of Greece.
Have you run it before? Will you plan on running it this year or some other?
HT: Fox Sports