Starting of the 26th ultra-marathon

The 26th historic long-distance race of 246 klm -from Athens to Sparta- has just started and Stavros Niarchos Foundation is its supporter, for the 5th consecutive year.

The starting point for the 2008 race, took place on the Acropolis’ Propylaia today, Friday, September 28 at 07.00 a.m. All the participating athletes, will end up in Sparta, on the following day. Our country participates with 34 athletes, Japan with 67 and all women runners amount to 40. This year’s competition has an overall participation of 34 countries and 332 runners, out of whom many past winners, like Scott Jurek (who passed first the finishing line, in the past two years) 


Up to this point, at 09.50 p.m., the results from the first 40 klm at the Megara Station, are:  


1. Scott Jurek – USA 


2. Jae-Duk Sim – Korea 


3. Piotr Kurylo – Poland 


The weather conditions will be suitable for the long distance runners, since it will be partly cloudy and the temperature will range from 21-24ο C. All participating athletes follow the path drawn by the British John Foden in 1982, who run a pilot race in order to revive the Feidipidi’s triumph and the historic narration by Herodotus, on the Marathon battle. 


Spartathlon is a challenge for all athletes, not only for their physical capacities and strength, but also, for their power of mind, asking them to go beyond their human powers and to fight, away from rivalries. What is also remarkable, is that this long distance marathon does not have any financial award, but for the ethical satisfaction of participating, a cup of water from Evrotas river and an olive wreath. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is the sole and proud supporter of the race, for the fifth consecutive year. 


The high motives of fair play, the athletes’ contact with nature, through the long route they have to cover, the spirit of competition and the procedure of learning thyself-which all the athletes experience during the race- are the ethical values that contributed to the undertaking of this race by the Foundation.