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bulletInternational Spartathlon 256K
bullet27th September 2000
bullet101 miles
bulletAthens to Sparti, Greece
bullet22 Hours 04 mins
bullet http://spartathlon.webvista.net/index.html

This is a historic race from Athens over the mountains to a town called Sparti. The race is a replica of a legend in the Greek history, a man who ran the route in order to inform the army that the enemy were approaching and about to attack.. the warning was enough for the army to prepare and with the lack of surprise the enemy were slaughtered.

The race was devised using the official ledgers and times to prove that it was possible to achieve and since then it has been an annual event celebrated by all the people in all villages and towns on route. The finish is spectacular as you have a police escort and 2 local girls to escort you through the crowds to the statue which you must touch.. then you are donned with a olive halo and whisked to hospital for medical.

Later there is a huge presentation in city centre with the whole town taking part as the finishers names are called and invited on stage to a huge applause one at a time....  Next time I will have support crew to give my night clothes and prevent the thieving B******S  from stealing my jacket, trousers, fleece, head torch and spare trainers which were meant to be waiting for me at 80 miles... !!

Cut off time for 100K was 12 hours. There were checkpoints every 3 to 6 miles, with a total of 69 on the 256 K route.

I was over 2 hours inside the cut off time at 100K and from then on the schedule relaxed.. and with a bit of shuffling and walking I was able to maintain and slightly increase my time. But as night drew in, I reached the 80 miles cp and to my dismay did not find my night clothes which were meant to have been there for me... After temps of mid 30 degree centigrade during the day, the mountains at night were getting cold and in the valleys as we crossed the hills, the temp was just 5 degrees and damp / dew which made it feel colder in the breeze. Without fleece and warm trousers and head torch my legs grew tight and I was freezing cold... but I pushed it through to 100 miles with over 2 hours to spare on the cut off time for this checkpoint.. it was 4 am and we had started at 6am previous day but the cold was too much and I retired.

If I knew who stole my equipment...!!!!

There were 11 britts in the field and apart from the 3 who finished, I lasted the longest... there were competitors from 28 countries at this race and only a third of the field finished as the cut off times are quite tough, especially when considering all had official permission from their countries running authority to represent their nation and we all had to run sub 11 hour 100K or equivalent in order to be accepted as a competitor.

 

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