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Posted: May 13, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: 2,500 Years Of The Marathon

AIMS (The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) is to mark the 2,500th year of the marathon race by staging its 18th Congress in Athens, Greece on 28-30 October 2010. The organizer of the Congress will be the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS), the organizer of the international Athens Classic Marathon (ACM), held every November at the authentic marathon course, from the town of Marathon to Athens city centre.

The word 'marathon' is now part of every day global language yet its story is perhaps the most unique tale of sporting and cultural history ever told. It comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek soldier-runner who ran from the town of Marathon to Athens in 490 BC to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming 'We won.' before collapsing and dying.

The right to stage the Congress was won against strong bids from: Prague, Czech Republic; Jungfrau, Switzerland; and Durban, South Africa.

AIMS Director and Berlin Marathon founder Horst Milde comments: "The members felt that the opportunity to mark the most significant date within our sport on its 2,500th year was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a sporting concept that has caught the imagination of the world and has come to be seen as a personal benchmark of health, fitness and achievement for runners around the World."

The 2010 Congress will be staged along with the 4th edition of the AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium, annually staged in the town of Marathon, the day before the Athens Classic Marathon, looking at current and topical issues within the sport of distance running. The Congress and Symposium is open to AIMS members but also all race directors around the world. For this year, those interested in attending the 3rd AIMS-IAAF Marathon Symposium, 7 November, 2009, should contact:

As a gesture to the Marathon Movement and a way of marking the upcoming 2,500th year anniversary of the Marathon Battle, SEGAS in collaboration with AIMS and the town of Marathon have created, since 2007, the "Marathon Flame" which is lit yearly at the Tomb of Marathon, the day before the Athens Classic Marathon, and is taken to many events around the world symbolizing the sport's remarkable history. If you are interested in having the Marathon Flame visit your city/event contact the Hellenic Athletics Federation and Athens Classic Marathon:

For further information please visit The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) website:

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