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Monument in Sparta with names of Spartathlon winners
The finisher’s medal
The reverse side of the medal

Spartathlon is a 246-kilometre (153 mi) ultramarathon race held annually in Greece since 1983 between Athens and Sparta.


The Spartathlon aims to trace the footsteps of Pheidippides, an Athenian messenger sent to Sparta in 490 BC to seek help against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. Pheidippides, according to an account by Greek historian Herodotus in The Persian Wars, arrived in Sparta the day after he departed. Herodotus wrote: "On the occasion of which we speak when Pheidippides was sent by the Athenian generals, and, according to his own account, saw Pan on his journey, he reached Sparta on the very next day after quitting the city of Athens.".[1] Based on this account, British RAF Wing Commander John Foden and four other RAF officers travelled to Greece in 1982 on an official expedition to test whether it was possible to cover the nearly 250 kilometres in a day and a half. Three runners were successful in completing the distance: John Foden (37:37), John Scholtens (34:30) and John McCarthy in (39:00).[2] The following year a team of enthusiastic supporters (British, Greek and other nationalities) based at the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in Athens and led by Philhellene Michael Callaghan organised the running of the first Open International Spartathlon Race. The event was run under the auspices of SEGAS, the Hellenic Amateur Athletics Association.

The race[edit]

The race starts at 7:00 am, usually on the last Friday of September, at the foot of the Acropolis. It runs out of Athens toward the coast and along the coast towards Corinth via Elefsis, Megara, and Kineta. The route reaches the Corinth Canal at 78.5 kilometres and the runners hit the first of six major check points at 81 kilometres.

After Corinth, the race heads toward Ancient Corinth, Nemea, Lyrkia, and at 159 kilometres reaches the top of Mount Parthenio. From there, it continues south toward Nestani and Tegea, before reaching the main Sparta highway just before the 200 kilometer mark.

Runners must pass through 75 checkpoints along the way and each checkpoint has a cut-off time. Runners outside the cut-off may be pulled out of the race, although tardiness in the first half of the race is generally tolerated. This tolerance begins to fade after sunset, and in the last third of the race organisers may pull out runners who are either outside the time limit or who display extreme fatigue.

Entry requirements[edit]

In order to run in this race an individual must meet at least one of the following requirements:


Yiannis Kouros, who won the first Spartathlon, still holds the record time at 20:25:00. Kouros competed in four Spartathlons, won all four and holds the four fastest times ever recorded. In 2005, he decided to trace the steps of Pheidippides completely and ran—out of competition—the Athens-Sparta-Athens distance.

In 2008, Scott Jurek won his third straight title, clocking the fifth fastest time in the history of the race. Only Kouros (four times) has run the course faster than Jurek.

In 2007, the 25th anniversary competition had a record 323 starters, and the 2008 race had a record 151 finishers under the 36 hour cut-off time.

Following are the winners of the Spartathlon:


Time = hours:minutes:seconds

2014Ivan Cudin Italy22:29:29Florian Reus Germany23:57:13Andrzej Radzikowski Poland25:49:05
2013Oliveira João Portugal23:29:08Florian Reus Germany25:29:54Ivan Cudin Italy25:54:49
2012Stu Thoms Germany26:28:19[3]Tetsuo Kiso Japan26:36:23Markus Thalmann Austria27:14:25
2011Ivan Cudin Italy22:57:40Yuji Sakai Japan24:22:24Michael Vanicek Germany24:55:59
2010Ivan Cudin Italy23:03:06Jan Albert Lantink Netherlands23:31:00Jan Prochaska Germany24:56:00
2009Ryōichi Sekiya Japan23:48:24Lars Skytte Christoffersen Denmark24:32:00Jon Harald Berge Norway25:10:00
2008Scott Jurek United States22:20:01Markus Thalmann Austria24:52:09Lars Skytte Christoffersen Denmark25:29:41
2007Scott Jurek United States23:12:14Piotr Kurylo Poland24:29:41Valmir Nunes Brazil25:37:40
2006Scott Jurek United States22:52:18Ryōichi Sekiya Japan24:14:11Masayuki Ohtaki (Otaki, Ōtaki) Japan25:19:12
2005Jens Lukas Germany24:20:39Jean-Jacques Moros France25:03:30Markus Thalmann Austria26:34:42
2004Jens Lukas Germany25:49:59Markus Thalmann Austria26:20:02Martin Juri Australia27:19:15
2003Markus Thalmann Austria23:28:24Valmir Nunes Brazil25:30:35Jean-Jacques Moros France26:26:16
2002Ryōichi Sekiya Japan23:47:54Markus Thalmann Austria25:16:56Jeffry Oonk Netherlands26:58:55
2001Valmir Nunes Brazil23:18:05Jens Lukas Germany24:46:51Ryōichi Sekiya Japan25:27:30
2000Masayuki Ohtaki (Otaki, Ōtaki) Japan24:01:10Jens Lukas Germany24:59:54Cees Verhagen Netherlands25:35:50
1999Jens Lukas Germany25:38:03Jean Pierre Guyomarch France27:08:57Jun Onoki Japan27:16:36
1998Kostas Reppos Greece25:11:41Kenzi(Kenji) Okiyama Japan26:13:13James Zarei United Kingdom26:44:04
1997Constantinos Repos Greece23:37:00Kenji Okiyama Japan25:55:00Rune Larsson Sweden28:11:00
1996Roland Vuillemenot France26:21:00Mravlje Dusan Slovenia27:55:00Roy Pirrung United States27:56:32
1995James Zarei United Kingdom25:59:42Vasilios Chalkias Greece27:49:46Kazuyoshi Ikeda Japan28:12:00
1994James Zarei United Kingdom26:15:00Kenji Okiyama Japan25:55:00Peeter Kirppu Estonia26:07:00
1993Rune Larsson Sweden25:57:12Jean-Claude Lapeyrigne France29:48:00Schutze W.D. Germany29:50:38
1992[4]Rusko Kantief Bulgaria24:08:13Paul Beckers Belgium25:05:48Roy Pirrung and Seppo Tapio Leinonen United States,  Finland28:33:02
1991Seppo Tapio Leinonen Finland30:25:07János Bogár Hungary24:15:31George Stoakes United Kingdom30:50:35
1990Yiannis Kouros Greece21:57:00János Bogár Hungary24:49:19Rune Larsson Sweden25:28:48
1989János Bogár Hungary24:15:31Rune Larsson Sweden24:42:05Seiichi Morikawa Japan26:08:18
1988Rune Larsson Sweden24:41:46James Zarei Iran25:59:42Georges Makris Greece26:47:00
1987Patrick Macke United Kingdom26:41:51Rune Larsson Sweden27:26:00Seppo Tapio Leinonen Finland27:56:32
1986Patrick Macke United Kingdom23:08:41James Zarei Iran26:48:50Yiannis Kouros Greece27:41:00
1985Patrick Macke United Kingdom23:18:00Dusan Mravlje Yugoslavia24:39:22Jean Calbera France24:42:00
1984Yiannis Kouros Greece20:25:00Dusan Mravlje Yugoslavia23:44:00Patrick Macke United Kingdom24:32:05
1983Yiannis Kouros Greece20:29:04Dusan Mravlje Yugoslavia24:40:38Alan Fairbrother United Kingdom27:39:14



Time = hours:minutes:seconds

2014Szilvia Lubics Hungary26:53:40Nagy Katalin United States28:55:03Eva Esnaola Spain30:52:41
2013Szilvia Lubics Hungary28:03:04Antje Krause Germany30:07:15Heike Bergmann Germany30:22:03
2012Elizabeth Hawker United Kingdom27:02:17[3]Leonie van den Haak Netherlands28:42:36Szilvia Lubics Hungary29:45:56
2011Szilvia Lubics Hungary29:07:39Ruth Podgornik Res Slovenia32:17:19Mimi Anderson United Kingdom32:33:23
2010Emily Gelder United Kingdom30:17:03Heather Fouwdlink-Hawker United Kingdom32:43:00Yoshiko Matsuda Japan33:31:00
2009Sumie Inagaki Japan27:39:49Yoshiko Matsuda Japan31:16:00Lisa Bliss United States32:27:00
2008Sook-Hue Hur South Korea30:03:22Stacey Bunton United States31:25:59Heinlein Marika Germany31:39:19
2007Akiko Sakamoto Japan31:09:24Vrigitte Bec France31:56:03Kimie Noto Japan32:11:05
2006Sumie Inagaki Japan28:37:20Takako Furuyama Japan31:40:31Mary Larsson-Hanudel United States31:41:56
2005Kimie Noto Japan30:23:07Elke Streicher Germany32:19:59Anke Drescher Germany32:52:23
2004Kimie Noto Japan29:57:40Hiroko Okiyama Japan31:01:17Anke Drescher Germany32:55:26
2003Akiko Sakamoto Japan29:07:44Sumie Inagaki Japan29:38:54Barbara Szlachetka Germany31:50:23
2002Irina Reutovich Russia28:10:48Hiroko Okiyama Japan30:25:49Mayumi Okabe Japan31:33:35
2001Alzira Portela-Lario Portugal30:31:41Kimie Funada(later Kimie Noto) Japan33:49:17Heike Pawzik Germany34:41:10
2000Hiroko Okiyama Japan29:16:37Mary Larsson United States30:56:16Helga Backhaus Germany31:35:24
1999Anny Monot France35:38:08Kimie Funada(later Kimie Noto) Japan35:41:31---
1998Mary Larsson Sweden28:46.58Kimie Funada(later Kimie Noto) Japan29:32:21Helga Backhaus Germany29:53:49
1997Helga Backhaus Germany30:39:00Kimie Funada(later Kimie Noto) Japan33:36:00Heike Pawzik Germany33:46:00
1996Helga Backhaus Germany29:33:00Kimie Funada(later Kimie Noto) Japan33:36:00Heike Pawzik Germany33:46:00
1995Kimie Funada (later Kimie Noto) Japan29:32:21Helga Backhaus Germany30:41:00Miyako Yoshikoshi Japan35:40:31
1994Helga Backhaus Germany30:39:00Kazuko Kaihata Japan34:12:17Miyako Yoshikoshi Japan34:33:21
1993Sigrid Lomsky Germany32:46:17Marie Bertrand France33:47:12Miyako Yoshikoshi Japan34:18:00
1992Hilary Walker United Kingdom31:23:30Mary Hanudel-Larsson United States33:47:00Miyako Yoshikoshi Japan33:47:52
1991Ursula Blasberg Germany34:42:45------
1990Anne-Marie Deguilhem France34:07:41Pascale Mahe France35:08:03Mary Hanudel-Larsson United States35:31:30
1989Mary Hanudel (later Mary Larsson) United States31:57:23Monika Kuno Germany34:10:00Eiko Endo Japan34:36:49
1987Hilary Walker United Kingdom31:23:30Waltraud Reisert Germany35:31:56---
1986Mary Hanudel (later Mary Larsson) United States31:46:45Waltraud Reisert Germany33:21:00---
1985Mary Hanudel (later Mary Larsson) United States34:10------
1984Mary Hanudel (later Mary Larsson) United States30:27:00Marcy Schwam
Lorna Richey (later Lorna Michael)
 United States
 United States
1983Eleanor Adams United Kingdom32:37:52------

All-time top 50 performances[edit]

1.Yiannis Kouros20:25:00GRE1984128
2.Yiannis Kouros20:29:04GRE1990134
3.Yiannis Kouros21:53:42GRE1983127
4.Yiannis Kouros21:57:00GRE1986130
5.Scott Jurek22:20:01USA2008134
6.Ivan Cudin22:29:29ITA2014139
7.Scott Jurek22:52:18USA2006132
8.Ivan Cudin22:57:40ITA2011136
9.Ivan Cudin23:03:06ITA2010135
10.Patrik Macke23:08:41GBR1990235
11.Scott Jurek23:12:14USA2007133
12.Patrik Macke23:18:00GBR1985130
13.Valmir Nunes23:18:05BRA2001137
14.Markus Thalmann23:28:24AUT2003139
15.Joao Oliveira23:29:08POR2013136
16.Jan Lantink23:31:22HOL2010252
17.Kostas Reppos23:37:00GRE1997131
18.Dusan Mravlje23:44:00YUG1985232
19.Ryōichi Sekiya23:47:54JPN2002135
20.Ryōichi Sekiya23:48:24JPN2009142
21.Reus Florian23:57:13GER2014230
22.Ohtaki Masayuki24:01:10JPN2000134
23.Rusko Kantief24:08:13BUL1992134
24.Ryōichi Sekiya24:14:11JPN2006239
25.János Bogár24:15:31HUN1991127
26.Jens Lukas24:20:39GER2005139
27.Piotr Kurylo24:29:41POL2007235
28.Lars Christoffers24:31:45DEN2009237
29.Patrik Macke24:32:05GBR1989134
30.Dusan Mravlje24:39:22YUG1983230
31.Dusan Mravlje24:40:38YUG1984231
32.Rune Larsson24:41:46SWE1987131
33.Jean-Dominique Calbera24:42:00FRA1985337
34.Rune Larsson24:42:05SWE1988132
35.Jens Lukas24:46:51GER2001235
36.János Bogár24:49:19HUN1990326
37.Marcus Thalmann24:52:09AUT2008244
38.Jan Prockaska24:55:58GER2010344
39.Jens Lukas24:59:54GER2000234
40.Jean-Jacques Moros25:03:30FRA2005235
41.Paul Beckers25:05:48BEL1992230
42.Jon Berge25:09:38NOR2009340
43.Kostas Reppos25:11:41GRE1998132
44.Markus Thalmann25:16:56AUT2002238
45.Masayuki Ohtaki25:19:12JPN2006340
46.Ryōichi Sekiya25:27:30JPN2001334
47.Rune Larsson25:28:48SWE1989233
48.Lars Skytte Christoffersen25:29:41DEN2008336
49.Reus Florian25:29:54GER2013229
50.Valmir Nunes25:30:35BRA2003239



  1. ^ Herodotus, The Persian Wars, Chapter 6, paragraph 106
  2. ^ Spartathlon 1983-2007, page 23, Published by the International Spartathlon Association, Athens, Greece
  3. ^ a b "Finishers". Spartathlon. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  4. ^ bg:Спартатлон#mediaviewer/File:Spartatalon finishers 1992.jpg
  5. ^
  6. ^ Spartathlon 1983-2007, International Spartathlon Association, 7 Kodrou street, 10558, Athens, Greece

External links[edit]