The marathon has long held a special place in athletes’ hearts and minds. It stands for the pinnacle of athletic endeavor, where the limits of the human body, mind, and spirit are explored. Although the marathon has ancient origins, its official distance of 26.2 miles wasn’t set until the 20th century. Athens hosted the first officially sanctioned marathon during the Games’ first modern era in 1896. Such long-distance races were not a part of the ancient games, which were held in Greece from roughly 776 B.C. to A.D. 393 in that country.
The narrative of an ancient Greek messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 40 kilometers, or almost 25 miles, with news of a significant Greek victory over a Persian invasion army in 490 B.C., served as the basis for the contemporary marathon. After delivering his message, the worn-out messenger passed away.
The Athens Marathon is the pinnacle of the marathon experience, faithfully reenacting the historic race from 2,500 years ago every year. We hope you’ll spend a few minutes reading this blog post just to find out more about the Athens Marathon, its registration information, tips, all you need to know and why it holds such a particular place in the hearts of runners all over the world.
The history of Athens marathon competition dates back to 490 B.C. and is regarded by many historians and thinkers as one of the most important conflicts in human history, but it is arguably now more well-known for serving as the model for the modern marathon. The conflict pitted freedom against repression and enslavement, and it was fought by free individuals with a novel idea.
One of the most significant English-speaking philosophers of the 19th century, John Stuart Mill, is credited with saying that “the Battle of Hastings is less important than the Battle of Marathon, even as an event in British history.” The Battle of Marathon was crucial because it made democracy possible to flourish. This novel notion of democracy would not have survived and would not have been recorded in history if the struggle had been lost.
According to mythology, a Greek messenger carried news of the triumph from the battlefield at Marathon to Athens after the war. He just managed to yell, “We won!” before passing out and dying of tiredness. In the 1896 Olympics the Athens marathon competition started properly where runners are still motivated by the initial heroic run of the messenger today. Athletes competing in the Athens Marathon today will follow in the messenger’s footsteps. Yet, when they follow the original historical route, they not only follow in the footsteps of the heroes and legends of ancient Greece, but also pass by the site of democracy’s founding.
From at least 1955 through 1989, a separate marathon from the village of Marathon to Athens was regularly organized in April. The Athens Marathon, a separate marathon, formerly served as the Greek championship race but has since been abolished. The Greek Tourist Board and Athletics Association collaborated to start the Athens Classic Marathon in 1972. The 1982 race was dedicated to Grigoris Lambrakis, a Greek politician and athlete whose assassination in the 1960s served as a motivation for those who support human rights. Since 1990, the Athens Classic Marathon has frequently served as the marathon competition’s national finals in Greece.
An annual International Marathon Symposium has been held in Marathon town the day before the race ever since 2007 thanks to the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races. The celebration of the Battle of Marathon’s 2500th anniversary was held concurrently with the event’s 2010 iteration. There is no other marathon like the Athens one. 2,500 years ago, the Athenian messenger Phiedippides ran over the same terrain to bring word of triumph from the Marathon battlefield, according to mythology.
As while running the Athens Marathon, it puts you in direct contact with the gods and heroes who helped to create western civilization. The majestic Olympic Stadium in Athens, which served as the first Olympic Games venue, is home to the finish line. The Athens Marathon is a memorable event, according to many who have participated. The Athens Marathon is regarded as the first marathon course, and the Athens 2004 Olympics also used this route.
The Athens Marathon 2023 will happen on November 12, 2023, with a 9:00 AM start time at the historic battleground in Marathon. In order for you to begin the day preparing yourself to run your best, Apostolos Greek Tours will transport you to the starting line in a comfortable bus that has been specially rented. To participate in the Athens Marathon, you must be at least 18 years old. There is no threshold period. The course is only available for 8 hours. The Marathon Event begins at 9:00 am and ends at 17:30 pm.
There are feeding stations located along the Marathon Race route. All participants have access to bottled water at the Start, Finish, and intermediate feed stations along the course. Moreover, isotonic beverages are offered at the Finish and the intermediate feed stations. Each runner takes part in the race at their own risk. Due to an incomplete pre-race medical inspection, the organizing committee is not liable for any participant health-related issues.
Before taking part in the race, it is advised that all runners, regardless of age, get a thorough cardio check. Given that every runner participates in the event entirely on their own initiative, the organizing committee will not ask for any documented medical certification. Also, from Wednesday, November 9, through Saturday, November 12, all runners are urged to pick up their race packets and bib numbers from the Runners’ Center, located in the Faliro Indoor Hall & Exhibition Centre of Athens, in the Olympic Faliro Coastal Zone.
There are also other races to participate in such as the 10 km and 5km road races that are featured in the marathon race, the information on them include:
The Athens Classic Marathon event will also feature a 5km Road Race in addition to the 10km. The 10km Road Race’s start and finish times are to be determined, it will take place in the late afternoon on Saturday (meaning the day before the Marathon Race on November 11th 2023). The precise time of the start will be revealed later. The storied Panathenaic Stadium will host the event’s finale for all races while the Panathinaikon Stadium (Propylea) will serve as the starting point for the course, which will travel through the city’s ancient core while passing important landmarks and structures. The Panathinaikon Stadium will host the 5 km Road Race’s finish line. At least one and a half (1/2) hours before the start of the event, runners must be present at the start area. An individual must be at least 12 years old to compete in the 5 and 10km Road Race.
Registrations will be officially closed on October 1, 2023. Unless the maximum number of participants for each race is reached earlier, the registration system will close on October 1 at the latest. Nominal Closure of Registrations is on September 15, 2023. A personalized bib number with their name printed on it will be issued to runners who submit and finish their registration before September 15th. It is NOT accessible to people who register afterwards.
Τhe Advance Registration Level includes:
• Bib Number with incorporated timing chip
• Technical Race T-shirt by Adidas
• Βag for clothing management
• Transportation of the runner to the Marathon Start Area (Marathonas) from the city centre of Athens (refers only to the Marathon Race)
• Services during the race (feed zones and medical assistance) and after the race (feed zone and medical services)
• Clothing management during the race
• Accident Insurance during the race by ERGO
• Finisher’s Medal (received exclusively by finishers)
• Participation Certificate with finish time through the website of marathonphotos.live (available after the announcement of the Official Race Results and only if the runner is included in them)
• Live tracking via our Official “Athens Marathon & Half” App
• Free entrance at the Athens Olympic Museum
• 50% discount on “Hellenic Train” tickets
Τhe Full Registration Level includes all of the above plus:
• Public Transportation Card
• Free entrance at the Acropolis Museum
• Face towel
• 15% discount at the Athens Marathon e-shop
It should be noted that runners who do not reside in the European Union may only register at the Full Registration Level (refers to current residency and not nationality).
The registration fees for the available road races and marathon includes: Marathon / 42km cost $110 per person; 10km road race cost $95 per person while the 5km road race cost $85 per person. You have the following options for paying your registration fees after submitting your registration form. A registration confirmation email will be issued to your email address within
seven (7) business days after you have paid your registration fee as described above. Please always remember to check your spam folder.
The age and participation limit requirements for the available road races and marathon includes: 18 years of age or older for the marathon (born at least in 2004) with participation limit of 15,000 participants; Age requirements for the 10km Road Race OPAP and the 5km Road Race STOIXIMAN are 12 years and older (born at least in 2010) with a participation limit of 12,000 and 15,000 participants respectively; The age range for the 1.2 km Kids Race is 9 to 12 years old (born in 2011,2012 & 2013) with a participation limit of 900 participants.
You would not necessarily have to pack a lot for the marathon as the major equipment required for the marathon will be readily available for you on registration. You just have to ensure that you’re in a very good healthy condition to perform the marathon so that you don’t have health issues along the way as the organizing committee is not liable for any participant health-related issues.
Athens Marathon Information
The race follows the “Original Course” from the ancient city of Marathon to the Athens Olympic Stadium. A brief detour is made to avoid the Marathon Tomb, a military memorial honoring the battle’s heroes, since the marathon begins at the Marathon Start Location in the town of Marathon, or Marathonas in Greek. At Marathonos Avenue, the route continues via the neighborhoods of Rafina, Pikermi, Pallini, and Gerakas. The runners eventually arrive in Stavros’ urban district on Messogion Avenue.
Messogion Avenue serves as the route’s continuation, passing via the Agia Paraskevi, Kato Chalandri, and Cholargos neighborhoods. After passing the Katechaki Junction, athletes go to Michalakopoulou Avenue and make a right turn onto Fidipidou Street, which bears the name of the legendary messenger. Following Vas. Sofias Avenue, runners will turn left onto Irodou Attikou Street just before reaching the National Gardens. Following 26 miles, you will cross the finish line in the spectacular Panathinaikos Olympic Stadium in Athens to the enthusiasm of thousands of spectators.
The Athens Classic Marathon is regarded as a challenging big marathon race, despite the fact that all of these courses are asphalt. The route has a sharp incline at the beginning and then gently descends. Also, around the Katechaki metro station, not too far from the city center and the finish line, is possibly the most difficult uphill.
You should be aware that early November in Athens is often sunny, pleasant, and perfect for marathon running. Yet occasionally, like in 2019, it might also be chilly and rainy. Hence, you won’t understand until you arrive. From early in the morning until 5 or 6 in the evening, the major thoroughfares, including Marathonos, Messogion, Vasilisis Sofias, and Irodou Attikou, are blocked to traffic. You can observe the runners compete from any location along these major thoroughfares.
And with that, we wrap up all you need to know about the Athens Marathon 2023. We have talked about the history of the Athens marathon and also the registration days and closing days for the event. You are aware now of the requirements for registration and the equipment you would get after registration. You’re also aware now of the routes you’ll pass while on the road race. We wish you all the best as you follow the footsteps of the gods in the Athens Marathon 2023.
This post on the Athens Marathon was fun and we hope you enjoyed it! Additional resources for readers interested in learning more about the 2023 Athens Marathon include: www.athensmarathon.com
Written by : Olamide Olajoseph