CULTURE

Athens Classic Marathon takes place this Sunday

This year’s Classic Marathon in Athens is to have a philanthropic aspect for the first time ever. Today, the Olympic marathon champion of 2004, Stefano Baldini, returns to Athens to be the guest of honor at the opening ceremony. He will be awarded with an exact replica of the cup given to the marathon winner of the first Modern Olympics held in Athens in 1896, the legendary Spyros Louis in his traditional «fustanella». Tomorrow’s marathon follows the classic route to the Panathenaic Stadium. At the same time there will be a 10,000-meter race setting out from and ending at the stadium. Runner magazine suggested that athletes from around the country participating in the latter race should support the ELPIDA Society for Friends of Children with Cancer, by donating 10 euros to the Society. The Amateur Athletes’ Association (SEGAS) has offered its support for the idea by matching the donations with the entry fee of 10 euros to ELPIDA, making a total from each competitor of 20 euros. (A foreign competitor’s entry fee is 30 euros, an amount which includes souvenir gifts and a T-shirt, although if Greek competitors want these extras they also have to pay 30 euros.) Offering children with cancer a little hope by running 10 kilometers is surely the best prize a competitor could hope for. Don’t forget roads along the main route from Marathon tomorrow will be closed for the race.