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City, athletes celebrate 2500 years since classic marathon

October 31, 2010 - ATHENS

The 2010 Athens Classic Marathon commemorates the 2500th anniversary of Phiedippides' 40 km (25 mile) run from the battle field of Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of an invading Persian force. Historians differ on the month of the feat that gave rise to the long-distance foot race called the marathon, but they agree on the year -- 490 BC. After running the whole distance,Phiedippides collapsed and died from exhaustion.

The 2010 Athens Classic Marathon commemorates the 2500th anniversary of Phiedippides' 40 km (25 mile) run from the battle field of Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of an invading Persian force. Historians differ on the month of the feat that gave rise to the long-distance foot race called the marathon, but they agree on the year -- 490 BC. After running the whole distance,Phiedippides collapsed and died from exhaustion. In 2004 astronomers moved the date of Phiedippides' run forward to 12 Aug from 12 Sep 490 BC. The modern Olympics first introduced the marathon race in 1896. It has held an honored place in the Games since then, usually serving as the final sport before the closing ceremonies. Some 800 marathons are run each year around the world, and thousands of men and women compete in each one. In 1921 the marathon distance was standardized at 42.195 kilometres (26 miles and 385 yards.) Jan/10

Athens Classic Marathon web

Date written/update: 2010-10-31