About the Race

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.

Next Spartathlon Race
September 2023

SPARTATHLON Historical Ultramarathon


SPARTATHLON is a historic ultra-distance foot race that takes place in September of every year in Greece. It is one of the most difficult and satisfying ultra-distance races in the world because of its unique history and background.

The Spartathlon revives the footsteps of Pheidippides, an ancient Athenian long distance runner, who in 490 BC, before the battle of Marathon, was sent to Sparta to seek help in the war between the Greeks and the Persians.

According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, Pheidippides arrived in Sparta the day after his departure from Athens.

From 1984 the International Association "Spartathlon" was founded, which since then has continuously organized the race each September. The choice of this month is because that is the time reported by Herodotus for Pheidippides’ run to Sparta.

Press Room

Press Conference 27 September 2022

Press Conference 27 September 2022

The President of the International SPARTATHLON Association Mr. Vangelis Polymeris and the General Secretary Mr. Panagiotis Bonelis have the honor to invite you to the usual Press Conference, on Tuesday September 27, 2022 at 12:00 am, in the event hall of the Hotel Oasis in 27 Posidonos Ave., Glyfada 166 75.

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IAU Golden Label SPARTATHLON 2022

Χρυσό το ΣΠΑΡΤΑΘΛΟΝ 2022
Η Διεθνής Ομοσπονδία Υπεραποστάσεων (IAU) απένειμε την Χρυσή Ετικέτα για τον αγώνα του ΣΠΑΡΤΑΘΛΟΝ 2022

Golden Label for SPARTATHLON 2022
The SPARTATHLON has been awarded with the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) Gold Label status for 2022.

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Announcement

The recent developments regarding the situation in Ukraine as well as the general concerns from our friends and colleagues have created a discourse in which the International Spartathlon Association has decided the following:

Spartathlon is an historical, cultural and sporting Event and an organization that values the Ancient Hellenistic ideas of Noble Rivalry and Fair Play as well as rewarding the participation of all Finishers within the required timeframes. The Organization is a big family consisting of people that prioritize those values and as such, as a whole, it values Freedom, Justice, Laws and Respect for our fellow Man and their Independence.

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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.