Marathon : a 2500th anniversary celebration?

28 Oct 2010 18:56
Jean-Loup Fenaux
History

This week-end, will be organized the 28th Athens Classic Marathon.

This marathon celebrates the legendary original “marathon race” when after the battle of Marathon, in 490 BCE, a messenger called Phillipides is said to have run from Marathon to Athens to announce the victory of the Greek against the Persians before dying from exhaustion. The first modern marathon was organized during the 1896 Olympiad in Athens.

Athens Marathon Finish line in 2007Credit : Marco

This year is special, since it has been officially said that 2010 was the 2500th anniversary of the “original marathon”. And many runners are coming from all over the world to celebrate. About 12,000 runners will meet in Athens. They were only 3,600 last year in 2009!

I find it quite amusing since if the first marathon was ran in 490 BCE, the 2500th anniversary should be celebrated in 2011 not in 2010. The year zero doesn’t exist in the Gregorian calendar.
I think you already had this kind of conversation ten years ago regarding the 2000 celebration ;-)

But it doesn’t really matter at all, we all love round numbers and as for all legends, aren’t even we sure that Phillipides existed.
So let’s celebrate the 2500th anniversary!