Marathon history

In the Greek city of Athens, women were waiting to know if their husbands were victorious or defeated by the Persians at the battle on the plain of Marathon (place located approximately 42 km) due to his Persian enemies had sworn that after defeating the Greeks They would go to Athens to plunder the city, and sacrifice girls.

Knowing this, the Greeks decided that if the women of Athens did not receive the news of the Greek victory before 24 hours, coinciding with the sunset, would themselves who kill their children and then commit suicide. The Greeks won the battle, but it took longer than expected, so they risked their women, to ignore, ejecutasen the plan and kill the children and then committing suicide.

The Athenian general Miltiades the Younger decided to send a messenger to deliver the news to the Greek polis. And here the story is mixed with the legend: Pheidippides, besides having been fighting a whole day, I had to travel a distance of between 30 and 35 km to the news, since the city of Marathon is northwest of Athens, Not far. It took so much effort to reach your destination at the earliest, when he arrived, exhausted and fell before dying could only say one word: “νίκη” (-Níki- victory in ancient Greek).

Another version gives the historian Herodotus. According to him, Pheidippides was sent to Sparta to ask for military assistance to repel the invasion of the Persians, who were advancing towards Marathon. According to Herodotus, Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta in two days, covering 240 km. The founders of C.O.I. took the first version and set the distance of the race at 40 km, but there is an annual race in tribute to this feat called Spartathlon (Spartathlon) which covers the distance from Athens to Esparta.2 But there is no evidence that the ancient world would have been a competition like the marathon moderno.3

Herodotus wrote that Pheidippides ran the 246 km that separated to Athens to Sparta in two days. It was written 30-40 years after making it quite likely that Pheidippides is a historical figure. But the first known written account of a run from Marathon to Athens is the Greek writer Plutarch (46-120), in his essay On the Glory of Athens, where the race attributed to a herald called Thersippus or Eukles not Pheidippides. Luciano, a century later, Pheidippides attributes. It seems likely that in the 500 years since the time of Herodotus to Plutarch, has been the story of Pheidippides confused with the Battle of Marathon, and that some imaginative writer has invented the story of the run from Marathon to Athens . Apparently did Pheidippides Marathon-Athens (42 km) route but surely if you made the Athens-Sparta (246 km).

Many believe that only by Pheidippides marathon received its name, but that is incorrect, since in general the Greek soldiers were excellent riders and after the battle of Marathon entire Athenian army had run the distance Marathon to Athens to reach the coast his defenseless city before the Persian ships. When the Persians arrived they could not believe the incredible strength of these soldiers abandoned their attempts to conquer. So the feat of the race from Marathon to Athens should be attributed to athletic Athenian army before he ran hastily to defend his distant city to possibly Pheidippides was not there; and if he was, he ran along with the others.

The Venice Marathon

The Venice Marathon, the Venicemarathon, mainly, besides the beautiful sporting event it represents an opportunity to see high-level athletes running in some of the most prestigious and the most beautiful places of Venice.

After passing the Liberty bridge that connects Venice to the Terra Ferma (about 4 km) and then crossing the Tronchetto, marathoners run along the Zattere (2 km) and then experience their first Venetian bridges … and tortures.

These are most often the bridges of Venice that make the difference between the competitors at the finish.

There are indeed 14 bridges to cross only on the last three kilometers of the race!

Certainly bridges crossed in Venice by marathoners are now equipped with gateways to avoid their test steps (bridges particularly appreciated by moms for their strollers and by wheeled suitcases of tourists, and remain in place until the Epiphany, thank you to the Marathon).

However, when you need to run a total of 42 195 km and the last three kilometers to cross bridges are dotted up and down, muscle aches are immediately more sorely felt, and all competitors arrive not to manage both this ultimate Venetian any difficulty.

This is where the show really begins for thousands of Venetians and tourists, mainly from express to Venice to attend his famous Marathon.

Such a finish is unforgettable indeed see these athletes pass the Piazzetta San Marco, in front of the Doge’s Palace and the whole series of palazzi that line the Riva degli Schiavoni and the basin of San Marco to the finish, is downright gorgeous.

Gateways installed on bridges for the occasion over a certain “elasticity” as you can see from our photos and videos of the Venice Marathon.

So that marathoners are almost weightless in their stride on the way down bridges.

By cons, no “floating” in the air to rise and the slopes are rather steep!

But the “cheers” to the public, particularly warm, are there to encourage all participants in the Venice Marathon, we must not forget that includes several races: masculine, feminine, but also wheelchair.

Athletes of the latter category are just as deserving as the first, because their arms are also “swallow” at full speed of 42 195 km of the Marathon and believe us, for them, the rise of bridges is even more difficult than the competitors of the general category.

The proximity between the athletes and the public makes this race even more beautiful, more present, more captivating.

Police officers and firefighters are also essentially present only at bridges for pedestrian traffic can remain fluid and they applaud as much as the audience.

Here was applauded in all languages, from Italian to Russian through English, German, etc … which still brings a little magic of sport: no borders, just Sport, beauty Sport, the beauty of effort and unity of all languages, religions and nations behind the athletes.

We imagine, despite the effort and the terrible suffering of a marathon, the effect it has to arrive in this magical place that is Venice, to tread its soil in these prestigious locations with the view to your left his Palais, and to your right, the Basin of San Marco with the church and campanile of San Giorgio Maggiore in “wallpaper”.

Thank you to all the runners!

The Venice Marathon starts on the Terra Ferma at Villa Pisani in Stra, about 25 kilometers west of Venice, at the beginning of the river Brenta.

A place famous for all the Venetian patricians Palazzi had built in the seventeenth and especially the eighteenth century.

Marathon runners then pass through the towns of Dolo, Mira and Oriago, then the area of ​​Marghera, the oil port just before Venice and Mestre, then make a detour of three kilometers through the San Giuliano park, still on the Terra Ferma.

It is then that Venice, the beautiful and historic city of the Doges, begins to appear when their racing takes the Ponte of Liberta, along almost four kilometers.

A bridge nonetheless still “sympathetic” to marathoners, because … flat!

From there, they cross the harbor area of ​​Tronchetto and then lead to the beginning of the Zattere, the large dock (two kilometers) along the Giudecca Canal and bordering southern Sestier Dorsoduro.

This is where “skimming” the Venice Marathon begins with the first bridge to cross and the strides that make all the difference between marathoners.

At the end of Zattere, competitors saw around the tip of the Sea Customs to take the metallic footbridge 170 meters being installed for the occasion across the Grand Canal.

A bridge connecting Dorsoduro to Giardini Reale, the gardens are located along the Basin of San Marco, just behind Marciana Library and the Piazzetta San Marco with its two granite columns.

Still waiting seven bridges marathoners before arrival, not least, long and curved … among the largest of Venice, like the deck of the Pieta, particularly difficult to overcome for often competitors already on the verge of exhaustion.

Yet many of them seem to angels, manage to smile between two pains, happy like us to be there, to become part of this lavish environment, have made the Venice Marathon!