For a birthday present, a trip to the Athens Marathon

For a birthday present, a trip to the Athens Marathon

Some people celebrate their 50th birthday with a party with friends, a trip or a family meal. There are also those who want to quit smoking, start exercising or run a marathon. This is the case of Francisco Javier Giménez, who decided that 50 was a good age to run his first 42K. And he didn’t do it in just any city. He went to the cradle of athletics, to the origin of everything. “I set out to run a marathon and I chose Athens because it was the real one, the original.” 

If the debut in a marathon is always special, Francisco Javier’s would be even more so. So much so that after Athens came Paris and in September he will run in Berlin.

Of the race in Athens, Francisco Javier is left with “the start and finish line, they are spectacular”. And also with the number of people cheering along the route “and offering you an olive branch”. An amulet that gave Francisco Javier luck: “I picked up the olive branch at kilometer 3 and took it to the finish line”. And even more so, taking into account the demanding course. “I was surprised by the steepness of the climb,” he says.

For Francisco Javier it was a complete experience, not only because of the race itself, but also because of how easy everything was during the trip. “Without a doubt, it is one of the best experiences of my life,” he says.

“The Athens marathon has to be run once in a lifetime”

Ana María Sabater went to Athens with another objective. She was not making her debut in marathon, in fact, she has already run the Six Majors, but “the Athens marathon has to be run once in a lifetime because it is the origin of the marathon”.

For a person like Ana Maria, with experience and who has practically run on five continents, the trip to Athens was an experience that highlights the race route: “It is unique in the start from Marathon and the finish line in the Athens stadium”. It is also unique for the involvement of the Greek population and for those olive branches that accompany the runners and protect them for 42 kilometers. “The course is the story of a battle won that changed the course of the history of Athens,” says Ana Maria, who would recommend the experience in Athens for running in emblematic places such as “the cobblestone road where Socrates’ prison is located”.

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