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Spartathlon runners set to race ancient ultramarathon course from Athens to Sparta

Sep 20, 2021

The greatest ultra-distance sporting event in the world, the Spartathlon, is back. Starting 7:00 a.m. on Friday, September 24 at the foot of the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis in Athens, 400 runners from 53 countries will travel from Athens to Sparta, traversing archaeological sites, roads and paths in Attica and the Peloponnese, the top of mount Artemisio, the plains of Nemea, and the Evrotas River Bridge.

This year’s Spartathlon, the 39th iteration of the event, includes 60 Greek ultra-distance athletes. The race is inspired by the journey of ancient Athenian runner Pheidippides, who covered the 153-miles—roughly the length of six consecutive marathons—from Athens to Sparta.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is the lead supporter of the Spartathlon.

The race is organized under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense and the Hellenic Ministry of Tourism.