“Athens Marathon. The Authentic”, a significant sports event held annually in Athens, was recently honored with the World Athletics Heritage Plaque by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
IAAF’s World Athletics Heritage Plaque, a concept launched in December 2018, aims to highlight, celebrate and link together iconic and historic athletics competitions, careers, performances, cities, venues, landmarks and cultures around the world.
“Athens Marathon. The Authentic” was recognized for its historical importance as it carries on the tradition since the first Olympics in 1896: The runners follow the classic marathon route retracing the steps of messenger Pheidippides, who, according to legend, in 490 BC, ran from Marathon to Athens to announce the Athenians’ victory over a Persian army. He then collapsed and died.
“This award is a great distinction for the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS), which has been organizing the Athens Marathon for many years and has managed to increase its dynamics and value in the field of international sports events,” an announcement said.
Apart from Athens Marathon, IAFF also awarded the BAA Boston Marathon, one of the oldest marathon events established in 1897, as well as the English Cross Country Championships (founded 1877) and the USA Cross Country Championships (1889); Italy’s annual Cinque Mulini (1933) and Spain’s Gran Premio Cantones de La Coruña (1986).