Birthplace of the marathon, Greece is a destination for those wanting to participate in their first 42.2 Kilometer race. Thankfully, there a plenty of running events ranging in distance and difficulty that will allow even the most inexperienced runner to get a truly authentic experience. Here are three major running events in Athens, perfectly suited for every sporting level :
1) Spartathalon is about as extreme as you can go when it comes to running. This 246 kilometer-long, ultra-marathon takes place annually for over 30 years. It is equivalent to running nearly six marathons, back to back. This race takes place every September, between Athens and Sparta. There are strict requirements for entry so be sure to check the website if you are trying to join the elite list of finishers.
2) Athens Marathon – The Authentic is probably the most popular and well known out of all the races in Athens. This international race draws in thousands of runners from around the world and takes place in November. This signature 42.2-kilometer long race drew nearly 45,000 participants in 2015. There is also a five and ten kilometer race available for those wanting something a bit shorter.
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3) The Athens International Half Marathon is a little more realistic for the runner in all of us. This sporting event is the second-most important race after the Athens Marathon. The event starts in Athens’ city center and is a great way to explore the city. Many people will sign up for the five-kilometer race and simply enjoy a fun run. There is also a special three-kilometer race for people with disabilities.
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No matter what your sports level is, there are plenty of races from which to choose. Even if you prefer to fast walk, just get out there and explore the magic of Athens. You won’t be disappointed.
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For more ideas on how to Do, Dine and Spend in Athens and beyond, visit our Destinations pages.