The Athens Marathon Authentic, staged every November by the Hellenic Athletics Federation, has become the most prestigious marathon event in the world with its roots going back to 490BC (See below).
In November 2019, Participants who crossed the finish line inside the famous Panathenaic Stadium received the first of a series of 8 medals of unique historic, cultural and artistic value dedicated to the history and evolution of the Marathon movement.
This first medal bears the signature of Alekos Fasianos, the world-famous Greek artist, who has depicted a scene from the Marathon Battle (490BC) on the reverse side of the medal.
The first of the eight letters of the word “MARATHON” is highlighted on the medal, so that the entire word will be formed by the end of the series.
A total of eight different collective medals, (one per year), will be awarded to finishers until 2027 with 2026 being a special year celebrating the 130th anniversary of the first modern Marathon race which took place at the 1896 Modern day Olympics.
Whereas Covid-19 in 2020 has necessitated that the second medal in the series can only be awarded in 2021, due to cancelation of the event, the 2019 medal depicting the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) between Athenians and Persians is being made available for general purchase giving each and every person the opportunity to own a masterpiece designed by Alekos Fasianos, one of the greatest contemporary Greek painters.
The medal design includes the following elements:
– A SIDE: The Panathinaic Stadium | M | COLECTOR 2019 | SEGAS LOGO | GRIGORIS LAMBRAKIS FIGURE | OPAP LOGO.
– B SIDE: Marathon Battle ( 490BC ).
– Diameter: 75mm.
– Thickness: 5.5mm.
– Weight: 130g.
– Ribbon: Attached to the top of medal | Length: 450mm.
– Made of zinc
The basis of the Medal and the side depicting the Panathenaic Stadium, designed by Spyros Kizis, of KIZI STUDIO.
The second medal will be dedicated to the “Imerodromos”, the soldier that carried the message of victory from the battlefield to Athens, and it will bear the signature of another world renown Greek artist, Kostas Varotsos. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, this special medal will be awarded to all finishers of the 2021 event.
Among all Olympic sports, the Marathon Race stands out as it was born by a truly historic and heroic event. It was a true triumph accomplished by a news-bearing foot soldier from ancient Athens, who announced – with his last words – the victory of the Greeks against the Persians after the Marathon Battle in 490 BC. This, days after the foot soldier had already run from Athens to Sparta in an attempt to enlist warriors to fight at Marathon in the battle against the Persians. The then 40 km Marathon Race became one of the most competitive events during the revival of the Olympic Games in 1896. A Greek athlete named Spyros Louis, running what has ever since been referred to as the Original Marathon Course from the ancient city of Marathon to the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, won the gold medal of the first modern Olympic Games and became a legend of Greek and International Athletics. The Marathon Race has always had a prominent place in the hearts and minds of sports enthusiasts, as it represents the highest effort where the human body, soul and mind are tested to their limits as the runner presses himself/herself to reach the finish line. The standard marathon distance of 42,195kms was established after the 1908 Olympic Games which now affords all Athens marathon runners the opportunity to run around the ancient burial site and tomb shortly after the start of the marathon.
SEGAS, the Hellenic Athletics Federation, has the honor and the historic responsibility to organize the Athens Classic Marathon annually on the Original Marathon Course. Since 1982, the Athens Classic Marathon has been dedicated to Gregoris Lambrakis, the athlete, scientist and Member of Parliament, who was murdered in the 60s and, after his death, became a symbol of Human Rights. From the year 2011 onwards, OPAP S.A., the leading gaming operator in Greece and one of the major corporations in Greece and Europe, has been nominated Grand Sponsor of the event and its valuable support led to the significant upgrade of the race in all aspects. Thousands of runners from all over the world are expected to participate in every year’s race. Apart from the sporting experience, they will have the chance to enjoy the traditional Greek hospitality, discover the fascinating landscape of our country and explore a city which is constantly improving its standards.