|King Leo's anger reminds us all that it wasn't easy to replace an arrow-pierced Camelbak 2600 years ago|
The Spartathlon aims to trace footsteps of Pheidippides, an Athenian messenger sent to Sparta in 490 BC to seek help against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. Pheidippides, according to an account by Greek historian Herodotus in The Persian Wars, arrived in Sparta the day after he departed.
Herodotus wrote: "On the occasion of which we speak when Pheidippides was sent by the Athenian generals, and, according to his own account, he reached Sparta on the very next day after leaving the city of Athens."
Based on this account, British RAF Wing Commander John Foden and four other RAF officers traveled to Greece in 1982 on an official expedition to test whether it was possible to cover the nearly 250 kilometers in a day and a half. Three runners were successful in completing the distance: John Foden (37:37), John Scholtens (34:30) and John McCarthy in (39:00). For twenty-eight consecutive years since, the Spartathlon athletes have followed the route John Foden and his team defined in an official race.
Of course with work, money, health, and a whole bunch of other stuff you can throw under the umbrella of "life" getting in the way every year, it's been a bit of a challenge for me to find the right time to actually get across the pond to run this thing. ...and while I'm not ready to announce anything official yet, I am happy to report that the past couple days have brought about some very good news in terms of this being The Year for me to run the race. Lots of other ducks still need to fall in a row, but a couple big pieces are in place and I'm about ready to head down to the photo booth to finish up my application and send it in the mail...
|Sure, my running form is just like Pheidippidies' up there|