Sure, there are tons of races out there and many of them are on my bucket list of races I want to run, but Athens was definitely near the top. Any marathoner you speak to should know the significance of Athens. It is where the marathon originated. Check here to see the whole story, but here's my quick version. The marathon is named after a Greek legend that tells a tale of a messenger, Pheidippides who was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians around 490 BC. After running the distance to Athens and delivering the great news, Pheidippides collapsed and died.
The route that we ran traced the route of the 1896 Olympic course starting in Marathon on the eastern course of Attica, the site of the Battle of Marathon of 490 B.C., and ending at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.
Because of my benefits with working for and airline, we were going to be travelling standby for most of our flights. We would be traveling through 3 different countries in 7 days. Trains, planes, and buses. We started our trip on an early Wednesday morning and flew out to London Heathrow. Since it was a day flight and with all our excitement, we didn't sleep and watched movies and had a glass of wine to celebrate our up coming race. We arrived in London the same time as my cousin who was flying in from Biarritz and made our way down to her flat for a quick stopover as we had about 24 hours before our next flight to Athens. Our first stop was at her local pub around the corner from her place. My buddy had never been to a traditional British pub, so off we went and chugged down a pint and had some nice chit chat before heading back to crash at her place. After 3 hours on her couch, we were off to catch a bus to a local airport about an hour away to catch our flight to Athens.
|Cheers from London|
|On the roof of our apartment with the Acropolis behind us|
|We were so happy to finally see a 'sign'|
|With Our Bibs|
|Greek cheese with Tomatoes and Olive Oil|
|Grilled Squid w/local greens|
It was a great start to our adventures in Athens. We were quickly back at our apartment and passed out from all our travelling. We had a few more days of exploring before the marathon, so rest was much needed.
Touring through Athens and race recap will be following in my next post.
Where's the furthest you have travelled for a race?
Which races are on your bucket list?
Thanks for reading.