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Spartathlon is the event that brings this deed to attention today by drawing a legend out of the depths of history. The idea for its creation is belongs to John Foden, a British RAF Wing Commander. As a lover of Greece and student of ancient Greek history, Foden stopped his reading of Herodotus' narration regarding Pheidippides, puzzled and wondering if a modern man could cover the distance from Athens to Sparta, i.e. 250 kms, within 36 hours.

SPARTATHLON is a historic ultra-distance foot race that takes place in September of every year in Greece. It is one of the most difficult and satisfying ultra-distance races in the world because of its unique history and background.

The Spartathlon revives the footsteps of Pheidippides, an ancient Athenian long distance runner, who in 490 BC, before the battle of Marathon, was sent to Sparta to seek help in the war between the Greeks and the Persians. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, Pheidippides arrived in Sparta the day after his departure from Athens.

How to enter the Spartathlon

  1. Ultra Marathon

    Run 250km

Spartathlon route

The Spartathlon course is conducted point-to-point, the elevation ranges from sea level to 1,200 meters (3,937 ft), over tarmac road, trail and mountain footpath. Aid stations are placed every 3 to 5 km and are provisioned with food, water and other refreshments as well as the runners' personal supplies. The race is run under police and medical supervision with doctors, physiotherapists, and emergency vehicles being on call throughout the 36-hour race duration. The race is very demanding, not only because of the distance, but also for the cut-off requirements and weather conditions.
It should be noted that each of the 75 race control points has its own time limitations and should a runner arrive later than the official closing time he or she will be eliminated from the race.

Event Details

Q: When is the opening date for race applications?
The opening date is January 20th. Applications will be accepted (only via Internet) till February 25th.

Q: Do I need any previous experience?
The Spartathlon is an extremely tough and unique event and to help maintain the integrity of the race we have to impose certain pre-race qualifications. Full details of these requirements can be found on the Prerequisites page.

Q: How can I get information about the Spartathlon course and route?
Please refer to the Spartathlon Route page.

Q: What documentation do I need to provide?
Documentation is relatively simple and is mostly included within the Entry Form. This includes a declaration from your running club, doctors certificate, 2 passport photographs and your entry form. You should download and read the details shown on the Prerequisites page and complete the race application included on the Entry Form page.

Q: How much is the SPARTATHLON entry fee?
The entry fee for Spartathlon race for foreign athletes is 600€ and is payable to the International Spartathlon Association. The Entry Fee includes participation in the race, transportation during, before and after the race to points related to the race and participation of the athlete in the Gala Awards. ISA offers the athletes full board accommodation for six days in Athens and Sparta from Wednesday September 26th(in) to Tuesday October 2nd(out), at designated hotels of its choice, at no extra charge.

Q: When will I receive confirmation that my race application has been accepted?
After the closing date all applications will be examined and you will receive a confirmation.

Q: Is there any prize money offered to runners competing the Spartathlon Race?
The International Spartathlon Association is a non-profit making cultural and athletics association, registered under public law in Athens. Its finances are derived from fees paid by members. Support in cash, supplies and services for the organisation of the race itself are provided by the sponsorship of Greek and foreign business concerns and private individuals. No prize money has ever been offered to runners throughout the history of the Association. International support of the race has been phenomenal and runners continue to return for the pure thrill and hospitality that is offered by race handlers, volunteers and the citizens of Greece itself.

Q: When will I receive all the items needed for the event?
Some information will be sent to you at the time we confirm that your application has been accepted and all other outstanding materials such as: room reservations, ID pass, race number and other information will be handed over when the runner officially registers for the race in Athens.

Q: Do I need insurance?
There is a waiver clause in the application form wording that exempts the International Spartathlon Association (ISA) from responsibility due to a runner's injury or loss of personal possessions. In these times it is normal for the typical tourist to take out travel insurance before leaning their home country, so it is logical for a runner to consider a similar package. Insurance arrangements can be made with most travel agencies, in most countries, and some offer special packages tailor made for athletic pursuits.

Spartathlon weather forecast

Clear throughout the day.

Predicted highs
Predicted lows

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