First it was a rural city, and then became the place of a legendary battle; the victory of Athenians over the Persians (490B.C.) gave birth to a Race that inspires the world. The Marathon Race.
Pheidippides was a long-distance runner or courier as we can say today but for Ancient Greece it was a hero and his accomplishment an inspiration for the modern sporting event of Marathon Race.
490 B.C. the Persian fleet anchored in the bay near Marathon turning the plain into a battlefield for an invasion to Athens state. Miltiades the Athenian general sends Pheidippides to run to Sparta and ask for their help. He covered the distance from Marathon to Sparta and back in 2 days. As Spartans didn’t joined Miltiades ordered Athenians along with a small force from Plataea for a general attack that led to a triumph.
Pheidippides was send again running, from Marathon to Athens to announce the news of victory to fellow Athenians and that joyful message was his last word.
The Battle of Marathon is often seen as a pivotal moment in European history, since the following two hundred years saw the rise of the Classical Greek civilization.
Even now a trip to Marathon can lead you back in time and the remains of this legendary triumph. A visit to the Marathon Tomb, the Archaeological Museum and the coastline of Marathon town can make you breathe few drops of history.
Join the Marathon Race running or power walking can make you feel like a modern hero.
The Marathon is more than a Race is an idea that unites the world. People come together for a lifetime experience of will-power, endurance and joy. All started at 1894.
14 centuries after Pheidippides run, a French professor became the man behind the idea and revival of this challenging act.
Michel Breal suggested to Baron Pierre de Coubertin who was vigorously trying to establish the birth of the Modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens to include the race of Pheidippides as the “Marathon Race”, this way, said Breal, Modern Olympic Games will have something of the ancient glory of Greece.
Breal also created a silver cup to be awarded to the winner of the first Marathon.
The enthusiasm of the revival of Olympic Games in Athens became even greater when Spyros Louis, a Greek water-carrier entered the Olympic Stadium as the winner of the Marathon Race.
The same stadium, Panathenaic Stadium is the finish line of the annual Athens Marathon, the Authentic.