Greece is gearing up for the 36th version of Spartathlon, the ultramarathon race that covers 246 kilometers from Athens to Sparta and starts on Friday.
Following in the footsteps of ancient messenger Pheidippides, the grueling race will this year have 387 participants who hail from 51 countries and once more include Greek-American ultramarathon superstar Dean Karnazis.
Tough weather conditions are set to make the race even more difficult for the runners, whose ages range from 20 to 70 years old.
Among them will also be 47-year-old UK cave diver John Volanthen, known for playing a key role in the rescue of the Thai youth soccer team trapped in the Tham Luang cave a few months ago.
Some 60 Japanese runners will take part, remarkably matching the number of participants from Greece.
The race sets off from the foot of the Acropolis on Friday morning, with the winner expected to reach the statue of Leonidas in Sparti in the early hours of Saturday.