On November 11, the 30th Athens Classic Marathon will take place. This year I will not run but have for the previous three years and really enjoyed it.
This time I will enjoy the race as a spectator.
The event is well organized, plenty of volunteers willing to help out and a warm crowd to welcome you into Athens.
So, here are my suggestion for the first timers:
-Picking up your number and goody-bag is easy at the Marathon expo. It’s small so a couple of hours are more than enough to get there, pick up the bag and have a look around.
-The best way to get to Marathon is to use the official buses since the area will be closed to cars early in the morning, plus you get to see the route getting there. It seems a really long way (and it is).
-Get dressed well since it can get really cold in the morning, or even worse it might be raining. You can leave your gear bag at the trucks that will transport everything to the finish.
-There is some limited indoor area for shelter. The floor will be your best friend. Avoid standing up for 2 or 3 hours prior to running another four or maybe more (or less). You will be tired before even starting!
-The event is not the largest in Europe, (about 10,000 runners) but still getting to the trucks can be a bit of a challenge. Do not wait for the last minute.
-The start is usually on time and in blocks.
-Take it easy, it is a long run with LOTS of uphill. About 25k of uphill that is.
-The last 12k are downhill or flat, but that can be a killer after the way up.
-There are plenty of first aid stations but can be busy, especially around the 30k mark.
-Plenty of water stations, with fruit and gels. Try avoiding the first one by keeping to the very left. It gets very crowded.
-Don’t over do it with gels, fruit, biscuits or you might get stomach cramps and discomfort. But do hydrate to avoid cramps.
– Don’t be afraid to walk and run.
– The last 500m and the stadium entrance will be a lifetime memory, enjoy it!
A must run event for all marathon runners for the history and difficulty of the course.
One month to go…start tapering and rest!