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Pheidippides’ Athlos

Feidippides’ Athlos (the Feat of Feidippides) is a foot race, inspired and conceived by Yiannis Kouros to mark the completeness of the overexertion of Pheidippides, who was sent by the Athenians in 490 BC to seek help from Sparta and return to Athens. The idea was born after Spartahlon '83, where Yiannis Kouros outraged by the false route that was "forced" to follow by the British organizers (at the intersection of Isthmia, then to Epidaurus, instead to direction towards Examilia, then west (!) to Ancient Corinth and then north (!!!) to Assos of Corinthia (instead south, where Sparta is).  


Immediately after the race and the route fiasco, he started doing studies and multiple running exploits to Arcadia, Lakonia, Argolis and Corinthia, detecting the possible route so one day to come and run it, thus reviving in full the feat of Pheidippides. At the same time, he asked the organizers of the "truncated" and counterfeited route of Spartathlon (= SPARTa-ATHens-LONdon!!!) to remove the phrase "in the footsteps of Pheidippides' because, indeed, the route does not follow it. Going through the Artemision mountain rather than from the Parthenion mountain, as evidenced by Herodotus’ sources, not only they do not honor Pheidippides, but they reduce the enormous amount of his effort and blackguard his ambiguous contribution.


Yiannis Kouros had fixed the plan of the complete course from 1985 -long before immigrating to Australia- but due to livelihood problems, this project, like others he had compiled, was postponed. Therefore, it remained idle, planned to take shape after his studies and his return from Australia.


Thus, he is the only athlete who has done in full and from the correct route the Feat of Feidippides, has conceived the name of the event and its emblem. With multi-member crew this race was organized and completed by Yiannis Kouros in 2005 (53h 43) and 2011 (61h 24:21) -including 30 minutes speech to Spartans, interview and short rest on the way back, in both events- .


As mentioned, the race must, according to sources (Ηροδότου Ιστορίαι /Βιβλίο 6 [κεφ.105.1 έως 3] – Herodotus, The Histories, Book 6 [chapter 105.1 to 3])- pass and return from mount Parthenion. Both Pheidippides and Yiannis Kouros arrived to Sparta without rest or sleep. Except after a message addressed to Spartans they ran back to Athens taking only a short time rest upon return. According to the historic and heroic approach this is the right way to run it. Anything else is a parody, quackery or "cheating" ... depends on the approach, since this race cannot be minced into small daily routes (stages / etape) or goes through other pathways than those of the Parthenion mountain.


Consequently, any truant approach, incapacity, or "route counterfeiting" is not allowed as it would take the name of this race and misuse it.

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