Athens will host the 40th Authentic Marathon over the weekend, Nov. 11-12, and police have announced a series of traffic measures, including total street shutdowns and traffic diversions.
The Greek capital is expected to transform into an open-air running track, with organizers estimating that more than 71,000 runners will take part. A series of traffic restrictions are set to commence early on Saturday morning and remain in effect until late Sunday afternoon.
Parking will be prohibited on several main streets in downtown Athens, while cyclists and pedestrians will be restricted from using the routes reserved for the athletes during the event.
The race will start on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 9 am just outside the town of Marathonas (Marathon), located northeast of the greater Athens area. The route uses the main avenues of Messoghion, Michalakopoulou, Vassilissis Sofias and Irodou Attikou, before finishing at the marble-clad Panathinaiko (Panathenaic) Stadium, the venue used for the 1896 and 2004 Olympic Games marathon finishes.
The race covers the historical 42km-route from Marathon to central Athens, run by Pheidippides, an ancient Athenian messenger. The latter relayed news of his kinsmen’s victory in the battle on the plains of Marathon against the Persians in 490 BC – before gasping his last breath.
Apart from the main marathon race on Sunday, two more races will also take place – a 10km race on Saturday, and a 5km children’s road race to take place concurrently with the classic marathon on Sunday.
Ahead of the celebration of the race, the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS), the event’s organizer, unveiled a commemorative medal bearing a timely message of peace.