As Athens gears up for its Marathon on Sunday, November 9, a book published in English by Greek journalist Yiannis Mamouzelos explains why the race on the course from Marathonas to central Athens is to be called “authentic” from now on, in the context of a full presentation of the history of the world’s favorite long-distance race that takes place in hundreds of cities and other places around the globe.
The book, titled “The Authentic Athens Marathon – History and Great Moments, 1896 to the Present”, by Salto Publishing, contains plenty of historical references to the Marathon movement, the history of the course and the race, and the worldwide historical reference to the events that followed the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.
Focusing on key points such as the distance chosen, the confusion over the starting point and so on, Mamouzelos creates the context that all Marathon runners and lovers of the sport and of track running in general should have in mind when participating in or attending a Marathon race.
In this third book by Mamouzelos on the subject, and the first published in English, the author explains why the Greek track and field federation (SEGAS) has as of this year changed the name of the annual race from Marathonas to the Panathenaic Stadium from “Classic” to “Authentic”: “SEGAS has decided with mature thought to designate the Athens Marathon as ‘authentic’, with the reasoning that its route was the first and the only one that has remained unchanged in terms of its territory, and the one that absolutely identifies itself with history, the monuments, the site of Marathon, and more.”
In his official presentation of the book on Wednesday, November 5, at 12 p.m. at the Ianos bookstore in Athens (24 Stadiou), Mamouzelos has invited the head of the International Association of Marathons and Long-Distance Races (AIMS), Paco Borao, who has also included in the book his personal compliments.
The following day, Thursday November 6, another book in English (and in Greek) is to be presented, by Greek record holder in the Marathon, Maria Polyzou, titled “Spirit and Body”, by The Great Oar publications. The book renders an impressive account of Polyzou’s repeat of the Pheidippides feat, running from Athens to Sparta and back at once.
The presentation of the “Spirit and Body” book takes place at the Press Conference Room of the Faliro Sports Hall at 7 p.m. in the context of the “Athens Marathon Expo 2014, The Authentic” exhibition, held at the sports hall from Thursday to Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s Marathon.