Athens: The Greek town of Marathon
celebrated today 2,500 years since the famous ancient battle,
which sealed the victory of Athenian democracy over Persian
troops and is behind a running event in the modern Olympics.
A sailing race in the bay of Marathon kicked off
celebrations, with a hike planned for the evening which would
lead to the Tumulus monument, erected after the 490 BC victory
of Miltiades` soldiers against the Persians.
A host of exhibits, plays and concerts around the battle
also took place, organised by Marathon`s town hall and a Greek
According to legend, Greek soldier Phidippides ran 42
kilometres from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek
victory over the Persians. He died from exhaustion just after
uttering "victory" to his compatriots.
This event would become the inspiration behind the
modern-day Olympic Games, which began in 1896, and the Athens
marathon, organised by the Greek Athletics Federation, which
draws numerous athletes around the world.
Organisers are expecting a huge turnout for the October
31 race because of the landmark anniversary.