The 33rd “Athens Marathon. The Authentic”, to kick off on November 8, from the ancient site in Marathon, eastern Attica, may have broken all records this year with more than 43,000 runners from across the globe ready to run the historic race, but the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS) told a press conference this week that organizing the event was more demanding than ever.
In view of the economic challenges facing the country, SEGAS has decided to forego inviting an elite field in order to concentrate on the participating runners. A part of the savings will be used to further improve services and entertainment.
In the meantime, due to high demand, SEGAS decided to organize a second evening 5km race to be held on November 8, between 4pm and 5.30pm.
“We had to deal with the issue of capital controls imposed earlier this summer, which could potentially create a problem with our partners abroad,” SEGAS President Kostas Panagopoulos said.
“We even went ahead and made plans in the case that large batches of supplies did not arrive in time, such as the medals from South Africa,” he added.
The event this year has also been included in the celebrations for the 70-year anniversary of the United Nations, which also coincides with 70-year anniversary of Greece’s UN membership as a founding member.
“The thousands of entries, which have broken all records and the foreign community’s returning confidence in Greece, recovered in the last two years, demonstrates the international reach and prestige of the Authentic Marathon of Athens,” said Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis.
“We are after all at the birthplace, the historic and cultural cradle of this great sporting event, which sends out a timeless message of sportsmanship, endurance, solidarity and peace throughout the world.”
Of the 43,000 competing athletes, some 16,000 are set to run the classic course from the town of Marathon to the 1896 Panathenian Stadium in the heart of Athens, the same route used in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
A total of 40,000 participants for this year’s race come from 100 countries, bringing the number of foreign runners up by 1,500 compared to last year.
GTP is the main tourism communication sponsor for the Athens Marathon. Τhe Authentic.
For coverage of last year’s “Athens Marathon. Τhe Authentic” press here.