Fitness Magazine

One of the Things That I Love About the Spartathlon

By Jamesrichardadams @jamesradams

2500 years ago a Greek courier set out from Athens to summon help from the Spartan army. He set out from Athens at sunrise and reached Sparta by sunset the following day. He covered 153 miles in 36 hours over ancient Greek roads, through some hostile territory and without support from others. On his arrival at the magnificent city of Sparta he pleaded with the famous army to send forces to Athens and help fight off the Persians. One can only imagine how exhausted Pheidippides was as he asked the Spartans to help.

The Spartans said no.

Pheidippides returned to Athens with the news that the Spartans were not going to help.

But at Marathon the battle was already won.

As magnificent and impressive Pheidippides run was it was as far as history is concerned pointless. If it had not have happened then nothing would have changed. His run could have been forgotten since it had no impact on future events whatsoever. Justin Beibler could get a new hair cut and that would have more impact on the course of events than this.

Yet every year 350 of us head out over there to retrace these pointless steps. There is something about the futility of it that draws me and others in. It's such a pointless thing to do. It hits home even more the day after then event when you head back in a coach and it takes three hours.

SO here is to an epic waste of time.

Bring it on.


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