Announcement of the International Spartathlon Association regarding the realization or not of the 2020 Spartathlon race

Announcement of the International Spartathlon Association regarding the realization or not of the 2020 Spartathlon race

1. The Management Board of Spartathlon wishes and hopes that the race take place on September 25th and 26th 2020 as scheduled. Unfortunately, however, the problems caused by Covid-19 throughout the planet impose a serious question mark on whether this will be possible.

2. There are no thoughts of moving the race to another date later in 2020

3. The necessary conditions for the race to take place are the following:

    3a. Most importantly that the health of athletes, crew members, volunteers and everyone involved in the race can be secured. All participants must commit to complying with all protective measures against Covid-19 that will be imposed by the Greek authorities and by the Spartathlon organizers.

    3b. Lift of all current travel and movement restrictions in the Greek territory.

    3c. Lift of the restrictions concerning athletic events.

    3d. Full opening of the hotels in Glyfada (Athens) and Sparta so that the necessary number of beds is available during the event.

    3e. Restart of the air transports so that a sufficient number or runners can be present at the starting line.

If any of the above 5 conditions cannot be met, the race will have to be cancelled due to force majeure.

4. Due to the continuous change of the COVID-19 landscape, the final decision cannot be made this early but it will be made by 15 July.

5. Modification of Race Rules (only for Spartathlon 2020)

    5a. The deadline for submission of the Entry Forms is extended by one month (i.e. until June 15th 2020) and the deadline for the settlement of the entrance fee is extended until July 15th 2020.

    5b. The deadline for submitting the applications for supporters (packages EXTRA and BASIC-SPARTA) is also extended until June 15th 2020, while  the deadline for the settlement of the fee remains unchanged, as it is originally stated in the Entry Form (i.e. August 10th 2020).

    5c.  If the race is cancelled due to force majeure, as described above, runners who will have already paid the fee will have the options of:

  • either asking for the reimbursement of the amount paid (minus any bank expenses)
  • or carry over the amount for Spartathlon 2021. In this case the runner will secure 100% his/her participation in the 2021 edition, regardless of the qualifying prerequisites and criteria which will be in effect then.

The Management Board may issue additional announcements before July 15 in response to the changing COVID-19 landscape.

Until then keep healthy, safe and fit.

The International Spartathlon Association


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Described as the world's most grueling race, the Spartathlon runs over rough tracks and muddy paths (often it rains during the race), crosses vineyards and olive groves, climbs steep hillsides and, most challenging of all, takes the runners on the 1,200 meter ascent and descent of Mount Parthenio in the dead of night.
This is the mountain, covered with rocks and bushes, on which it is said Pheidippides met the god Pan.

Spartathlon is the event that brings this deed to attention today by drawing a legend out of the depths of history. The idea for its creation is belongs to John Foden, a British RAF Wing Commander. As a lover of Greece and student of ancient Greek history, Foden stopped his reading of Herodotus' narration regarding Pheidippides, puzzled and wondering if a modern man could cover the distance from Athens to Sparta, i.e. 250 kms, within 36 hours.