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
27 - 28 September 2019

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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 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 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...

  • Race Report 2017: Richard Pomeroy

    Race Report 2017: Richard Pomeroy

    The roads from Athens to Sparta were even more punishing than I had imagined. In fact, by the double marathon mark, about 52 miles (83km) in, just after crossing the en...

  • Race Report 2017: Ian Hammett

    Race Report 2017: Ian Hammett

    I’ve been hanging on for 26km…. I haven’t got another 34 in me’ I pleaded with Claire… ‘you don’t realise how horrible this is!’ she could see the turmoil that I was in but there was nothing she co...

  • Race Report 2017: Laurence Chownsmith

    Race Report 2017: Laurence Chownsmith

    Looking back on this challenge, I have many feelings, relief of finally finishing after 3 failed attempts, immense personal satisfaction, and thanks to my Family, especially Allison, for her encour...

  • A volunteer's letter to the 2017 race Spartathletes

    A volunteer's letter to the 2017 race Spartathletes

    Spartathletes,

    I am taking the opportunity to write this as I won’t be able to be alongside your journey this year. After 13 years ...

  • Race Report 2016: Angela Terzi

    Race Report 2016: Angela Terzi

    Ο Κομφούκιος είχε πει πως η μεγαλύτερη νίκη μας δεν είναι πως δεν πέφτουμε ποτέ, αλλά πως κάθε φορά που πέφτουμε, σηκωνόμαστε και πάλι. Όσοι  έζησαν τις προσπάθειες μου...

  • Race Report 2016: British Spartathlon Team

    Race Report 2016: British Spartathlon Team

    We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped, supported or contributed to the British Spartathlon Team in 2016 in whatever capacity. We hope ...

  • Race Report 2016: Ian Thomas

    Race Report 2016: Ian Thomas

    The long tortuous wait was finally over and after another year of tough training, much discussion and some improved results, the biggest test of my metal was beckoning once again. The Iconic Sparta...

  • Race Report 2016: Panagiotis Maltezos

    Race Report 2016: Panagiotis Maltezos

    Κατ αρχήν και μετα από 15 μέρες , θέλω να συγχαρώ από καρδιάς κι από εδώ όλους τους δρομείς που έλαβαν μέρος στον αγώνα . Ασχέτως αποτελέσματος , αν τερμάτισαν η όχι . ...

  • Race Report 2016: Vasilis Perikleous

    Race Report 2016: Vasilis Perikleous

    Σπάρταθλον, ο αγώνας στόχος της χρονιάς και ο αγώνας που ήτανε στο μυαλό μου τα τελευταία 5-6 χρόνια. Θυμάμαι από το 2010 που έβλεπα από τον υπολογιστή την ζωντανή διεξ...

    Press Room

    Δελτίο τύπου 25/11/2018

    Μετά τις αρχαιρεσίες που διεξήχθησαν την 14η Νοεμβρίου 2018, κατά τη Γενική Συνέλευση των μελών του Διεθνούς Συνδέσμου « Σπάρταθλον», οι εκλεγέντες συνεδρίασαν την Τετάρτη 21η Νοεμβρίου και συγκροτήθηκαν σε σώμα για το Διοικητικό Συμβούλιο, ως ακολούθως:
    Following the elections held on November 14, 2018, at the General Assembly of the members of the International Association "Spartathlon", the elected members met on Wednesday, November 21st and were constituted for the Board of Directors, as follows:

    Read more

    Δελτίο τύπου - 02 Οκτωβρίου 2018

    Δελτίο τύπου - 02 Οκτωβρίου 2018

    Ο Ιάπωνας Ishikawa Yoshihikο είναι ο μεγάλος νικητής του 36ου ΣΠΑΡΤΑΘΛΟΝ με χρόνο 22.55.13

    Εν αντιθέσει με  τις δυσοίωνες προβλέψεις της Ε.Μ.Υ., το 36ο Σπάρταθλον, ο Ιστορικότερος αγώνας υπεραποστάσεων πάνω στη γη, πέρασε στην ιστορία επιτυχώς έπειτα από την τελετή λήξης ,και την απονομή των βραβείων στους αθλητές που τερμάτισαν τον αγώνα, στο άγαλμα του Βασιλιά Λεωνίδα στην πόλη της Σπάρτης. Μία ημέρα έπειτα από την λήξη του αγωνιστικού σκέλους της οργάνωσης-θεσμού, πραγματοποιήθηκε η τελετή βράβευσης των αθλητών και αθλητριών.

    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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