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SPARTATHLON: Life lessons learned from a very long road

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THE CHALLENGE

Spartathlon is an historic 153 mile/246 km foot race from Athens to Sparta.  The genesis of the race was to retrace the footsteps of Pheidippides, a great Athenian messenger.  The story goes that the Persian army was sailing to Greece for war.  The Athenians dispatched their greatest messenger to Sparta to recruit the brave and fierce Spartans to help combat the Persians.  It is said that Pheidippides arrived the very next day.  Hence, the Spartathlon race has been limited to 36 hours - it starts at 7 am on Friday morning (sunrise) and ends at 7 pm on Saturday evening (sunset).  If a Spartathlete can complete the distance in the allotted time, s/he will have completed the distance in the amount of time it took Pheidippides to travel the distance.

One must qualify for Spartathlon and meet time standards like a 10 hour 100k or 21.5 hour 100 mile, or other time standard.  Once a runner qualifies, the runner must apply for admission to the race.  390 people are invited to …