The Athens Marathon in Greece, 2022 | Join the fun!

Athens Marathon

Last Updated on January 26, 2023 by Celeste.

The Athens Marathon in Greece is a unique yearly event, attended by thousands of people from all over the world. During the Athens Marathon, runners get to race along the historic route from Marathon to Athens. No other event in Athens is so closely related to Greece’s ancient history.

Athens Marathon

The Athens Marathon, proudly called the Authentic Marathon, is the biggest, most significant international sports event in Greece. In this post, you will find information about the history of the Marathon, how to participate in the marathon or how to join the celebrations in Athens and along the route.

You will also find family activities in the historic town of Marathon and things to do during the Athens Marathon Event. Finally, you will find tips for hotels and things to do in Athens. So read on and find out everything you need to know about the mother of all marathons!

History of the Athens Marathon in Greece

Athens Marathon Greece

The Athens Marathon race was born in Ancient Greece, at Marathon—hence the name. The central figure in the legend of Marathon is Pheidippides (530–490 BC). Pheidippides was an Athenian herald, or hemerodrome (messenger). He ran from Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 40 kilometers, or nearly 25 miles. He did that to bring the news of the Greek victory over the invading army of Persians in 490 B.C. According to the legend, his last words were Nenikekiam (“Victory!”). And then he collapsed from exhaustion and died.

Visit Marathon town

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Map of Marathon

The town of Marathon and the route from Marathon to Athens still exist. Marathon is the starting point of the race. In Marathon, you can visit the Marathon Run Race Museum, the Ancient archaeological site of Marathon, and the famous Tymbos of Marathon, a vaulted tomb where the 192 Athenian soldiers were buried who died in the Marathon Battle.

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Tymbos

To visit the town of Marathon from Athens and for more information about the Ancient Marathon site, the Tymbos, and the Marathon Run Museum, you can read: A Family Day Trip from Athens: Visit Marathon

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Family day out in Marathon (Archaeological site of Ancient Marathon)

Experience the Athens Marathon

I have been participating in the Athens Marathon since 2014. My first race was the 10 km Race starting at Athens’ Syntagma square. The route took us through the beautiful heart of Athens, passing monuments and neoclassical buildings. The finish line was set in the historic Panathenaic Stadium (also called Kalimarmaro). It was an unforgettable experience that I will never forget.

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It is a magical feeling to be at the birthplace of the marathon. I loved watching the Acropolis while running and receiving my medal at the venue of the first Olympic Games. I have been participating in the race since that time, including the virtual edition in 2020 during the corona pandemic.

Famous monuments at the route

If you participate in the 5 km or 10 km race, you will have a marvelous view of the Acropolis and Lycabettus hill. Other famous spots along the 5 km and 10 km routes are:

  • The National Gardens and Zappeio
  • The Parliament Building at Syntagma square
  • The National Library
  • Athens Music Hall
  • The University of Athens
  • Athens National Gallery
  • The Panathenaic Stadium

Kids Race 1.2K

In recent years, my daughters participated in the Kids Race (up to 12 years old). The race is 1.2K long and is a fun way to combine exercising with history. Wouldn’t your child be excited to run in the footsteps of the ancient Pheidippides (530–490 BC) and the famous Greek hero Spyros Louis, the first-ever winner of the Marathon?

Athens Marathon

When is the Athens Authentic Marathon?

The Athens Authentic Marathon is an annual event that takes place every second weekend of November. The program includes 5 Races, for which you can register:

→ Marathon Race

→ 10km Road Race OPAP

→ 5km Road Race STOIXIMAN

→ 1.2km Kids Race

→ Universities Night Run OPAP

Registrations of the Marathon Race

The official registration period for the Athens Marathon opens approximately 6 months before the race date. Registrations will automatically close once the participation limit per race is met, or on 1st October at the latest. All registrations are submitted online at the official website.

Athens Marathon

Athens Marathon 2022 Program

If you like to watch the runners or participate in the events around the marathon, here is the program for Saturday and Sunday according to the location.

SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2022

Marathonas Town

12.30 – 13.15: Opening Ceremony (Marathon Tomb) – Transfer of the Marathon Flame at the Historical Starting Point of the Marathon Road

13.50-14.10: Lighting of the Altar of the Marathon Flame


Athens City Center – Amalias Avenue (National Garden)

17.00-19.20: 10km Road Race OPAP

17.00: Start of 10km Road Race OPAP
18.00: Start of Universities Night Run OPAP
Start: Vas. Amalias Avenue in front of Bodosakis Megaron
Finish: Panathenaic Stadium
Athens- Panathenaic Stadium

17.30-17.31: Estimated finish time of 1st runner 10km Road Race OPAP

18.32-18.34: Estimated finish time of 1st runner Universities Night Run OPAP

18.45-19.15: Medal Ceremonies for 10km Road Race OPAP & Universities Night Run OPAP


SUNDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2022

Athens City Center – Amalias Avenue (National Garden)

08.30-10.00: 5km Road Race STOIXIMAN

08.30: Start of 5km Road Race STOIXIMAN
Start: Vas. Amalias Avenue in front of Bodosakis Megaron
Finish: Panathenaic Stadium

Marathon Town – Marathon Start Venue

09.00-17.45: Marathon Race |42,195m Authentic Course

09.00: Start of Marathon Race
Start: Historic Marathon Start Venue (Marathon Stadium)
Finish: Panathenaic Stadium

Athens City Center – Vasilisis Sofias Avenue (Greek Parliament)

10.15-10.35: 1.2km Kids Race

10.15: Start of 1.2km Kids Race
Start: Vas. Amalias Avenue in front of Bodosakis Megaron
Finish: Panathenaic Stadium

Athens- Panathenaic Stadium

08.45-08.46: Estimated finish time of 1st runner 5km Road Race STOIXIMAN

10.15-10-30: Medal Ceremony for 5km Road Race STOIXIMAN

10.20-10.35: Estimated finish time of first runners 1.2km Kids Race

10.30-10.45: National Team Award

11.09-11.12: Estimated finish time of 1st male Marathon runner

11.20-11.29: Estimated finish time of 1st Greek male Marathon runner

11.33-11.45: Estimated finish time of 1st female Marathon runner

11.45-11.50: Estimated finish time of 1st Greek female Marathon runner

11.55-12.30: Award and Medal Ceremonies for Marathon Race and the SEGAS National Championship

Family activities during the Athens Marathon

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You do not have to be a professional athlete to participate in the Marathon. And you do not have to run, either. Over the years, I have seen plenty of people walking or jogging. Some with their kids, their dogs, or with a stroller. You don’t even have to register to feel the excitement of the event. There are many ways to participate in the fun and create your own marathon experience. Here below are suggestions for spectators or anyone interested in history.

Support the runners

Athens Marathon

Take the family and support the runners along the route. The race begins in Marathon and ends in the Panathenaic Stadium. The length of the route is exactly 42.195 kilometers or 26.2 miles, and you can watch the runners from everywhere along the way.

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If you go to watch the runners in Athens, it is wise to use the metro because the city center will be closed off to cars. You will enjoy the fun atmosphere, the street musicians and other artists. Some people dress up as ancient Greeks, and others bring their dogs or their musical instruments.

Wander the streets of Athens

Enjoy music and people in the street of Athens during the Marathon weekend. Note that during the races, there are no vehicles allowed in the city center of Athens and anywhere around the Panathenaic Stadium until the afternoon. It is recommended to use the metro. The Athens metro is stroller accessible and most stations have elevators. Don’t miss the metro stations of Acropolis, Monasteraki and Syntagma with their display of archaeological findings.

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Acropolis metro station

Visit the Panathenaic Stadium

To truly understand the atmosphere of the Marathon race, you should visit the historic Panathenaic Stadium. It is best to come early because it will be crowded. The stadium closes late in the evening when the last runner has crossed the finish line. The Panathenaic Stadium is located just 1000 m from the “Syntagma”, “Acropolis” and “Evangelismos” metro stations.

Athens Marathon Greece

Visit the Marathon Run Museum

Consider visiting the Marathon Run Museum. Marathon is located on the northeast coast of Attica, 40 km away from Athens, and twenty minutes away from Athens International Airport. Its permanent exhibition covers the history of the Marathon race from 1896 until today. Kids can participate in educational programs. Bonus: on your way to Marathon, you will drive the route of the Athens Authentic Marathon!

Explore the Marathon Tumulus Tomb

Marathon

The famous Tumulus of Marathon is a hill of nine meters in height that covered the 192 Athenians who defeated the Persians in the famous Battle of Marathon (490 BC.). What you will see is a small hill with olive trees and a model of the area with explanatory signs that reconstruct the story. It is a symbolic place worth visiting if you are interested in history. It is also an easy place to visit where kids can make a short walk around the tomb.

Day Trip from Athens to Marathon

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Family day out in Marathon (Marathon Run Museum)

Have you ever visited the town of Marathon, the birthplace of the famous race? In Day Trip from Athens to Marathon you can find information on how to visit and what to see and do.

Athens Olympic Games Workout Tour

If you like to book an organized activity for your family, have a look at the Athens Olympic Games Work Out. During this fun family activity, you will participate in games at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. You and your kids will become Olympic athletes and learn more about the history of Ancient Greece and the Olympic Games. It is a hands-on gym session and history lesson that ends with a family race in the Panathenaic Stadium.

Click here for more information and for booking your Olympic Games Work out for families

Athens Marathon

Other activities for sport-loving families in Athens

Can’t get enough of working out together? Consider a Family Bike Tour around Athens, a Family Work out in the street of Athens, or an Escape Room Game for Kids. All these activities are outdoors, and you can be together with your kids in the historic streets of Athens. You can find sporty activities and more in my list of Top things to do in Athens with children.

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Family bike tour in Athens

Family Hotels in Athens

If you are visiting Athens for the Marathon, make sure that you make your hotel booking way in advance. The Athens Marathon is a popular event and hotels will be booked fast. Most hotels in Athens offer special Marathon packages including special meals and other runner benefits. Are you traveling with kids? Have a look at my list of family-friendly hotels in Athens!

Click here for Family Hotels in Athens and Greece

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Grande Bretagne Hotel Athens

City Guides for Athens

Here are a few more guides that you will like during you stay in Athens:

And if you are participating in the Athens Marathon, have a great race, maybe see you there!

Athens Marathon

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