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The start of the 37th Spartathlon race will host 400 ultrarunners from 50 countries

Hundreds of ultramarathon runners from all over the world, on Friday, September 27, will gather at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens, for the start of the 37th Spartathlon race.

According to organizer International Spartathlon Association, approximately 400 long-distance runners from 50 countries have registered for this year’s international race. A total of 60 runners have signed up from Greece.

As every year, Spartathlon will follow the footsteps of ancient Athenian long-distance runner Pheidippides across the 246 kilometers from Athens to Sparti.

“After many months or even years of intensive training, participants will attempt to reach the statue of King Leonidas in Sparti within 36 hours,” Sparthalon Board President Vangelis Polymeris told reporters during a press conference earlier this month.

The 37th Spartathlon will wrap up on Saturday, September 28.

This year’s race will host champions of previous events including last year’s 2nd winner Czech Radek Brunner, as well as American Bitter Zach, who recently set a world record by running 100 miles in the stadium, in 11 hours and 59 minutes.

Furthermore, Spartathlon will once again welcome Greek-American Dean Karnazes and Greek Georgia Manta.

Hundreds of volunteers, doctors and physiotherapists will once again offer their services to support the participants.

The race is taking place under the auspices of the Ministries of National Defense and Tourism, the supervision of the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) and the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

(09/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Spartathlon

Spartathlon

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...

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Ian Hammett has been training in the environmental chamber to get ready for Spartathlon, a 153 mile race from Athens to Sparta in Greece in unforgiving temperatures

The University of Bedfordshire has turned up the heat within its environmental chamber to help an athlete train for a grueling 153 mile race in Greece’s unforgiving temperatures.

Ian Hammett from Bedfordshire is due to take part in the Spartathlon on 27 and 28 September, a 153 mile race from Athens to Sparta in Greece, a distance that athletes must cover in 36 hours.

To help prepare for the conditions he will face during the race, Ian has been training in the environmental chamber at the University’s Human Performance Center at the Bedford campus on Polhill Avenue.

“Using the Human Performance center supervised by Dr Jeff Aldous and his team has been the best possible way to acclimate to the likely weather conditions that I will face in Greece,” said Ian, who represents the  British Spartathlon Team.

“They have taken me beyond my comfort zone and exposed me to conditions that it would otherwise be impossible to replicate unless I was in Greece itself and have ensured that they will leave me in the best condition possible before I fly to Athens to attempt to complete this epic race.

“Whilst there are hotter races, and more mountainous, it is the aggressive cut off times at each 5k checkpoint that truly test us to complete the course in under 36 hours.”

Dr Jeff Aldous from the School of Sport Science & Physical Activity said: “It’s a pleasure for us to be able to help Ian prepare for the Spartathlon and we wish him the best of luck.

“We are always pleased to welcome athletes into our sporting facilities – not only to help local athletes train for their events in the community, but to give our students first-hand experience applying the practical skills they have gained whilst at university.”

(09/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Erica Roffe
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Spartathlon

Spartathlon

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...

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Ultra-runner Andy Day, has been training hard for the world-famous Spartathlon in Greece

A long-distance runner has been pounding the streets of Mansfield to prepare for one of the most historic races in the world.

Police officer Andy Day, who turns 50 in October, travels to Athens in Greece next week to take part in Spartathlon, a 153-mile ultra-marathon.

The race traces the footsteps of ancient Athenian Pheidippides who, in 490 BC, ran to Sparta to seek help in the Battle Of Marathon between the Greeks and the Persians.

“Its history and distance make it the biggest event I have tackled,” said Day, of Berry Hill, who will be backed by his partner, Diane Hamilton.

“I am going into the unknown, but I feel I am the fittest I have ever been, and I am really looking forward to it.”

Day, known to his friends as ‘Daysey’, took up ultra-running after national and international success as a cyclist and in duathlon. He then moved on to triathlon, but hated the swimming!

“I like to keep pushing the boundaries,” added Day, who is full of praise for his sponsor, Gallant Air Conditioning, of Mansfield, and his coach, endurance athlete Nathan Flear.

Although he won last year’s Robin Hood 100-mile race in Sherwood Forest, Day failed to post the time he needed for automatic qualification for the 390-strong field in Greece.

However, he won a place by ballot and has been training intensely, often getting up at 3 am to clock up to 100 miles a week, even though his work as a detective constable with West Midlands Police entails a 120-mile commute.

(09/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Spartathlon

Spartathlon

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...

more...
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Japan's Yoshihiko Ishikawa wins the Spartathlon ultra-marathon

Japanese runner Yoshihiko Ishikawa was the winner of the 36th Spartathlon, one of the most challenging and historical ultra-marathon races hosted in Greece. Ishikawa reached the finish line first early Saturday after covering non-stop 246 kilometers from Athens to Sparta in southern Greece in 22 hours, 55 minutes and 13 seconds, according to the International Association "SPARTATHLON" which organizes the event each year. The Japanese runner ranked fourth last year in his first participation in the event. Czech Radek Brunner ranked second in 23:37:15 this year, as in 2017, while Portuguese Oliveira Joao was the third runner to reach the statue of ancient Spartan King Leonidas in the center of Sparta. Hungary's Maraz Zsuzsanna won the women's race, ranking 17th in the general division. The 36th Spartathlon race started at the foot of the Acropolis hill on Friday morning and was conducted amidst adverse weather conditions this year, as a cold front with strong winds and storms is sweeping across the country this week. This year 381 runners from 51 countries and regions competed, following the footsteps of ancient Greek soldier Pheidippides from the Greek capital to the southern Peloponnese peninsula city of Sparta. In 490 BC, ahead of the battle of Marathon against the Persian forces, according to historians, the Athenian messenger who inspired the Classic Marathon was sent to Sparta to request support, making the journey on foot nonstop within two days. (09/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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João Oliveira will run the Spartathlon this Friday, and this year he hopes to win again

The ultra-marathoner has already won the Spartathlon  in 2013, and returns to participate this year after placing 11th in 2017. Joao of the Chaves Running Team left last Wednesday for Greece. The race starts at 7:00 local time on Friday.  This year Joao Oliveira is one of the candidates that could win this race, "the first time I kiss the feet of Leonidas was in 2009" in the position number 64 he said, the following year he was fourth! In 2013, his time was 23:29:08. In 2011 and 2014 he also managed to complete the 246km course. "Hopefully this year, could be mine," he says. (09/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Dean Karnazes is once again running the 246K Spartathlon which follows in the footsteps of Pheidippides

The 36th Spartathlon will once again welcome American Dean Karnazes. This year’s Spartathlon race will take place on September 28-29. Some 400 runners from 50 countries around the world, including 60 Greeks, will follow Pheidippides’ steps in the 36-hour long run to reach the statue of ancient King Leonidas in Sparta. In 490 BC, Pheidippides ran for 36 hours straight from Athens to Sparta to seek help in defending Athens from a Persian invasion in the Battle of Marathon. In doing so, he saved the development of Western civilization and inspired the birth of the marathon as we know it. This year’s Spartathlon race will welcome champions of previous events such as Czech athlete Radek Brunner (second in 2017), Greek Nikos Sideridis (third in 2017), Japanese Ishikawa Yoshihiko (fourth last year), Italian Marco Bonfiglio (second in 2016), Protuguese Joao Oliveira (winner in 2013), German Florian Reus (winner in 2015) and Zsuzsanna Maraz (second last year in females) from Hungary. Greek and foreign ultra marathoners will once again gather at the Acropolis in Athens to to begin the 246K (152 miles) marathon journey to Sparta.  That run in 490 BC stands enduringly as one of greatest physical accomplishments in the history of mankind. Dean Karnazes personally honors Pheidippides and his own Greek heritage by recreating this ancient journey in modern times. Dean even abstains from contemporary endurance nutrition like sports drinks and energy gels and only eats what was available in 490 BC, such as figs, olives, and cured meats. (09/12/2018) ⚡AMP
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Luca Turrini is an Italian born Australian, who has qualified for automatic entry into the Spartathlon 2018

Luca Turrini is an Italian born Australian, who has qualified for automatic entry into the Spartathlon 2018, which will be hosted in Greece in September. He aims to finish within the top five positions and the fastest finishing time for an Australian (28h:12m). The Spartathlon is one of the most difficult and satisfying ultra-distance races in the world because of its unique history and background, race profile, running conditions and strict cut-off times. The field is capped at 390 runners from all around the world, who meet the rigid qualifying criteria. Luca first started running when he moved to Australia at the end of 2008. Having migrated at the peak of the GFC, it was hard to find employment. “I was very stressed and my neighbour suggested I join him for a run. In that first run I only managed to get 2km down the road, but I was immediately hooked and progressed quickly, I quit smoking and changing my lifestyle quite drastically,” Luca said. A few months later, he ran his first half marathon and stuck to shorter distances. When his mother passed away in March 2011, he turned to running, he ran 20 marathons in 29 days across Italy “and from then on, I just kept running!” Luca recalls. In 2017, Luca also entered into the Guinness World Record for the farthest distance run on a treadmill, which has been a highlight in his career. It was a fantastic experience and at the same time a huge mental challenge. Just imagine running for 24 hours on the spot, looking at a dot on a wall 10 meters away from you! The male team broke their record reaching 424.63km, the female team also broke the record with 346.24km and, with only 3 minutes to spare, I broke mine with a 261.18km run.” (08/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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