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May 07

The  following  article is based on.........

Athens Marathon (2004)

This year's marathon race (26.2 miles) will follow the steps of the legendary Phidippides, from the town of Marathon, and finish in the first modern Olympic Stadium in Athens..

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The modern race is based on a legend, when a messenger named Phidippides ran over twenty-four miles to Athens, carrying news of a great victory of the soldiers of Athens over an invading Persian Army. The modern marathon commemorates this epic run every year, and celebrates the battle as a victory for democracy and for the preservation of western civilization.

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You certainly do not have to be an olympic athlete to run this classic race.  Athletes from around the world can take part in the Athens Marathon, held every year, in Autumn..... when the weather is still hot but not unbearable! The times for this difficult course  has decreased dramatically in recent years, with Kenyan runners leading the way...

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Martyn Overy, North Chadderton School, has completed six Athens marathons.  Starting 26.2 miles from Athens, from the village of  Marathon.  At this stage there are more trees alongside the road than concrete buildings.

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The last few metres is an experience to relish. Athletes finish in the very first Olympic Stadium, built in 1896.

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The track surface is of modern  construction, but the surroundings are pure classical. Not much has changed since 1896 in this stadium, unlike the surroundings.

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The 1894 Olympic Stadium, late at night....

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Training in beautiful surroundings o­n the island of  Paxos.

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Marathon Beach Hotel is a great place to relax before and after the marathon, It is located in Nea Makri, approximately 6 miles from Marathon. The manager welcomes athletes every year, and he shares the enthusiasm of the competitors. You can find out more about the original marathon at the website of the Classic Marathon Race