2012 Athens Marathon: Return to the source, by Pat Butcher, note by Larry Eder

Medals, 2011 Athens, photo by PhotoRun.net

The journey from Marathon to Athens honors the final miles of the messenger Phiddipidees, who told of the Greek victory at Thermopolae, and then collapsed. The Athens Classic marathon will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary. Pat Butcher's column is on the 30th Anniversary of the Athens Classic Marathon as well as the thirtieth anniversary of the AIMS organization, that helped push the global marathon push. (Make sure that you read Pat Butcher's columns at globalrunner.org


It is an event which every distance runner in the world should either run or attend at some point - the Athens Classic Marathon, scheduled this year for November 11.

But not just runners; race organisers too.

For the latter, proceedings centre on the day before the marathon (Saturday, November 10) with the sixth annual AIMS Marathon Symposium, staged in the town of Marathon itself.

The subject of this year's Symposium will be 'Levels and Quality Control of a Marathon event'.  Principal speakers will be the AIMS board members, Mark Milde (Berlin Marathon), Gary Boshoff (Comrades' Marathon), and Fernando Jamarme (Santiago Marathon). More than 50 organizers of international marathon races are expected to be in Athens for the AIMS Symposium.

Since 2012 is the 30th anniversary of both the re-launch of the Athens Classic Marathon, and of the AIMS organisation itself, there will be a Gala dinner, in Athens, on Friday evening, November 10. Legendary marathon athletes and other marathon and athletics figureheads will be honoured by AIMS & the Hellenic federation, SEGAS during this special event.

The Marathon Symposium on Saturday will be preceded by the traditional lighting of the Marathon Flame, at the tomb of the soldiers who fell at the Battle of Marathon in 490BCE, the foundation event for the marathon race itself.

Race numbers were substantially increased two years ago, on the occasion of the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon. But overall entries for this year's three major events - Marathon, 5k and 10k - will be even higher, but limited to 25,000 competitors.

Earlier this year, millionaires' magazine Forbes named the Athens Classic Marathon as one of the must-run marathons in the world.

Accordingly, organisers urge prospective marathoners, rich and less-rich, to get their entries in soon.

See: www.athensclassicmarathon.gr

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