|Spartathlon The Ultimate Race|
Spartathlon: The Ultimate Race
The 29th Spartathlon Race was completed on October 1. Starting at the foot of the Acropolis, the participating athletes raced the 246 km of the route to arrive in Sparta, after having completed what is described as the world’s most challenging race, due to distance, cut-off time requirements (36 hours) and extreme ground and weather conditions.
More than 250 athletes from over 39 countries participated in this year’s event. At most, one third of the racers make it to the finish line, to be awarded the humble but precious olive branch wreath. Among the athletes participating are some of the world’s most famous ultra-marathoners such as Ivan Coudin from Italy, who won the race for the second time this year, covering the distance in 23 hours (22.56’.45’’).
The Spartathlon race was inspired by the story of Pheidippides, an Athenian herald who was sent to Sparta to request help when the Persians landed at Marathon. According to Herodotus, Pheidippides arrived in Sparta one day after his departure from Athens.