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
25 - 26 September 2020

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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.

 

 


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  • Race Report 2019: Sergei Ovchinnikov

    Race Report 2019: Sergei Ovchinnikov

    I guess you don’t know me. Let’s talk straight. I’m an ordinary person “incapable of running 100 kilometers in 10 hours” (this was what one good coach once called me). 

  • Incidence of Hyponatremia During a Continuous 246-km Ultramarathon Running Race

    Incidence of Hyponatremia During a Continuous 246-km Ultramarathon Running Race

    The purpose of this observational study was to examine the incidence of exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) in a 246-km continuous ultra-marathon.

    ...
  • Race Report 2019: Aykut Celikbas

    Race Report 2019: Aykut Celikbas

    The sun is finally going down and I'm running among the olive trees on a winding road which leads to the village of Halkion at around 113 km.

    ...
  • Race Report 2019: Panagiotis Maltezos

    Race Report 2019: Panagiotis Maltezos

    Το ‘’ταξίδι ‘’ ξεκινάει ξανά ! Αυτή την φορά προετοιμασμένος πιο καλά, σε σχέση με την προηγούμενη φορά. Εντόπισα τα λάθη που είχα κάνει, τα διόρθωσα  και τώρα βρίσκομαι ...

  • Race Report 2019: Amy Mower

    Race Report 2019: Amy Mower

    It was a race I had never even really considered. I came out of my 6 day race last New Years a changed runner. The race had been physically grueling, but even more challe...

  • Race Report 2019: Balázs Korányi

    Race Report 2019: Balázs Korányi

    Can you have a first love a second time? Can a magical spell lift you, shake you up, and torture you again, just like it did before? Can everything that feels familiar al...

  • Race Report 2019: Paul Ali

    Race Report 2019: Paul Ali

    ‘It’s been fair to say I’ve lost my running motivation over the past couple of years and coupled with mediocre form, injuries and a bit of illness my interest in running ...

  • Race Report 2019: Ian Hammet

    Race Report 2019: Ian Hammet

    ‘I’m not sure what to do for the best…. it’s 153 miles you say?….. well?!?!’

    These were the words of Mr Matt Fitzpatrick (Consultant Po...

  • Race Report 2019: Dimitrios Chronis

    Race Report 2019: Dimitrios Chronis

    Μέχρι σήμερα, μετά το πέρας της σωματικής και ψυχικής προετοιμασίας, βίωνα όλους τους αγώνες μικρούς και μεγάλους, σαν μια αθλητική γιορτή. Ωστόσο, φτάνοντας στις 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 2019 με την 3η συμμ...

  • Race Report 2018: Luca Turrini

    Race Report 2018: Luca Turrini

    Storms develop over days, weeks, months even years. When the wind blows in your favour, you get lifted off the ground to reach speeds and highs you never thought possible. When you are hit by a hea...

  • Race Report 2018: Diego Rojo Garrido

    Race Report 2018: Diego Rojo Garrido

    Much it has be talked about the loneliness of the long distance runner and. Although I have felt so many times, training for Spartathlon is a before and an after for me as amateur runner and as per...

  • Race Report 2018: Stuart Shipley

    Race Report 2018: Stuart Shipley

    Spartathlete at last. The sweetest finish. I have learned a new word in the last year or so. Patience. More importantly I have learned what it means.  If you are reading this then you may have to b...

  • Race Report 2018: Darren Strachan

    Race Report 2018: Darren Strachan

    First and most importantly I want to say thank you. Without the love and support of family and close buddies this kind of thing would not be possible. For me anyway - some people seem to be able to...

  • Race Report 2018: Δημήτρης Καννής

    Race Report 2018: Δημήτρης Καννής

    Πότε στ’ αλήθεια ξεκινάει το Σπάρταθλο; Μήπως ξεκινάει όταν κληρώνεσαι για να συμμετάσχεις; Τότε που μαζί με την κλήρωση ξεκινάει και η πολύμηνη προετοιμασία που είναι τόσο επίπονη που το μόνο πο...

  • Race Report 2018: Bob Hearn

    Race Report 2018: Bob Hearn

    This was my third Spartathlon; I previously ran in 2015 and 2016. My 2015 race report is fully detailed, if you are looking for all the intel you can get on the race, and what it's like to experien...

  • Race Report 2018: James Ellis

    Race Report 2018: James Ellis

    Those of us who took part in Spartathlon nine days ago, can readily attest to how crazy the planet’s weather is becoming. A hurricane – now known as a Medicane thanks to its Mediterranean location ...

  • Race Report 2018: Endy Kasanardjo

    Race Report 2018: Endy Kasanardjo

    It rains when I make a selfie with Albert at the foot of the Acropolis. The outlook for severe storms is uncommon for the Spartathlon. As I wander around restlessly I feel like a tourist who does n...

  • Race Report 2018: Aykut Celikbas

    Race Report 2018: Aykut Celikbas

    Spartathlon 2018… How to start, where to begin?  Five days after the race I sat in front of the computer for 1.5 hours but couldn't write more than a few sentences. Whether...
  • Race Report 2018: Alastair Higgins

    Race Report 2018: Alastair Higgins

    My journey to Spartathlon 2018 started in the summer of 2017. I was planning on taking part in the Belfast 24 Hour Open Race which coincided with the World Championships when I was diagnosed with...
  • Race Report 2017: Ioannis Papamichail

    Race Report 2017: Ioannis Papamichail

    Είμαι ευγνώμων στο Θεό και τη ζωή που αξιώθηκα να τερματίσω 3 Σπάρταθλα σε 5 προσπάθειες. Είμαι επίσης ευγνώμων στη γυναίκα μου Πόπη που μου συμπαραστάθηκε με τη σκέψη ...

  • Race Report 2017: British Spartathlon Team

    Race Report 2017: British Spartathlon Team

    The Spartathlon... The ultimate ultra-distance race, the iconic race that makes grown men cry, over a quarter of runners standing on the start line will not finish for various reasons, at least hal...

    Press Room

    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.

    Read more

    Press Release 21-09-2017

    7 Days to Launch the History of "35th Spartathlon 2017"

    logo smallThe time counts backwards for the 35th International Spartathon race, which will take place on 29 and 30 September, on the 246 km Athens-Sparta route with many athletes participating. 35 years have passed since British RAF Champion John Foden and his friends managed to prove that the Historian Herodotus was right when in his reports he described that a man is indeed able to cover 250 km in two days.

    Read more


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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.

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