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Running away: revelling in the birthplace of the marathon

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Finishing the Athens 10K at the Panathenaic stadium, ahead of runners making their way from the town of Marathon, is an elating experience

I like a run that finishes in a stadium. It can bring a sense of grandeur, of occasion, to any race. The crowds banked up high. For a fleeting moment you can pretend you’re Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis-Hill.

As stadium finishes go, few can match the experience of entering the almost 2,000-year-old Panathenaic stadium in Athens. Made of marble and with a seating capacity of 50,000, this epic structure was the setting for the opening ceremony of the first modern Olympics in 1896. It was the finish of the 2004 Olympic marathons. Long ago, it hosted naked wrestlers and gladiators.

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