How far have you or would you go for the race of a lifetime? You know what I am talking about…that one race that, for you, would be the pinnacle of all of your race experiences. Whether that race means a PR, a fancy medal, finishing with a best friend, or accomplishing some other goal, this race would be the one that all other experiences just could never measure up to.
For me, that race is 6,107 miles away. That is how far it is to Athens, Greece.
The Athens Marathon (not Athens, GA, silly!), to me, would be the ultimate marathon experience. I probably would not run this with the intention of setting a PR. While it would be awesome if I did, I think my goal would just be to enjoy the experience and soak up all that Greece has to offer.
It would be a total DREAM for me to do the whole 11 day/10 night tour they offer. For the bargain basement price of $2,700 (not including airfare!) you get the following:
• Daily morning group runs
• City tour of Athens and the Acropolis, shopping at the Plaka, tour of the Temple of Posseidon
• Day cruise to three Aegean Islands – Hydra, Poros, and Aegina
• Tour of Delphi, Epidavros, and Mycenae
• Question/Answer session with Chris Twiggs (Jeff Galloway’s National Program Director)
• Running clinic with Jeff Galloway (Yes, THE Jeff Galloway)
• Race entry, runner tracking, race finish photographs
• Marathon Expo
• After-party with Greek dancers and DJs
• The bragging rights to say you ran the original historic marathon course!
The marathon course is based on true events from which the race gained its name: Pheidippides, a messenger in Ancient Greece, ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greeks’ victory over the Persians and he died after the delivery of the message. In addition to the amazing history, it is considered one of the most difficult major marathons. The course is uphill from the 10k mark to the 31k mark (13.05mi uphill!). This uphill climb is the toughest of any major marathon! (This is where those bragging rights come in!) After running the scenic route from Marathon, Greece to Athens, Greece, participants finish in Panathinaiko Stadium, a site for athletic competitions in ancient times and for both the 1896 and 2004 Olympic marathons.
According to Expedia, if I booked the flight now for the November 9-19 trip, it would run me about $1,040 (plus any other sort of fees they tack on). Let’s say I budget $75 per day for food/drinks/snacks (I have no idea if this is too much/too little for Greece), that’s another $825. So, for about $5,000 I can make all my little runner dreams come true!
Looking at the numbers now, at 6,107 miles…and almost as many dollars…I may never be able to make this happen. I am certain that, to me, there is no race that could be more awe-inspiring and motivational than running the original marathon course. But, you never know right? We all gotta have dreams! And I dream BIG!
How far would YOU go for the race of your dreams?