Race Report 2016: David Niblack
For the long distance runner, the Spartathlon is a kind of Matterhorn. It has the ingredients of an epic: a finish line that stretches a long, long way from the start; 153 miles, almost six consecutive marathons. There is a big mountain at the 100 mile mark, a big city at the start, a big cold night in the middle, and a big percentage of runners who don’t make it. The race has international prestige and gathers runners from all corners of the world. To top it off, the course claims a remarkable history. According to Herodotus, in 490 B.C the Athenian runner Philippides left Athens and arrived in Sparta the next day. His legendary run was for the purpose of asking the Spartans for help against the invading Persians before the conflict that would lead to the battle of Marathon. It was a run to save democracy, a run to save the foundations of Western culture.
Race Report 2016: Bob Hearn
There is nothing else like Spartathlon. Last year, I ran it for the first time. It was an incredible experience, and I knew almost before it even started that I would have to come back. It is, indeed, The Greatest Footrace on Earth. Last year, I set an aggressive best-case goal of under 30 hours. I had some rough patches, but managed to pull it together and run 29:35, which I was absolutely thrilled with. Only a small handful of Americans have ever run under 30 hours.
Race Report 2016: Pam Smith
The truth is, Spartathlon was never a "dream" race for me, more like a "eh, that might be interesting some day" kind of race. But my friend Bob Hearn ran it last year and was enamored with it and my running partner Dennis was also quite interested in it and spent time talking about how cool it would be to do. So when the application period opened in January and Bob told me I had till May before I had to commit any money, I thought I would throw my name in the hat. Well, that was a very slippery slope! Sending in an application meant spending time on the website and learning a bit more about the race, so that by the time the lottery results came out, there was no way I was turning down my spot. (I met the auto-qualification standards by being at least 20% faster than the regular qualification standard of 24 hrs for a 100M run, so it wasn't exactly a shock that I got in, but I was still super excited to see the "Congratulations, you have been accepted to Spartathlon" email!). Well, on to Greece!
Race Report 2016: David Le Broch
J’ai beaucoup d’appréhension avant cette course dantesque, c’est la première fois que je me lance sur une distance de 246 km et avec ma maman l’aventure est toujours un peu pimentée (Souvenir de notre première association lors du 100km de Royan en 2012, mémorable) Cette appréhension me fait passer des nuits très courtes avec un petit carnet sur la table de nuit pour marquer des choses que je sais déjà, mais bon on ne se refait pas, c’est souvent le même rituel avant une course.