After the big travel ordeal, we slept in a bit and cooked breakfast at our apartment in Athens. We walked to our first stop, the Panathenaic Stadium. This classical stadium was built in the around 1860 and used for the first modern day Olympics which took place in 1896. It also would be the finish line for the marathon which was three days away at that point! We made our way to the Marathon Expo where we learned all about the Battle of Marathon. As we said earlier, this marathon is in honor of the 2500th anniversary of this epic Battle. The Expo had a whole exhibit on the history of Athens, the battle of Marathon, and the history of the 42 kilometer (26.2 mile) race. The following quote from the exhibit sums up the importance of the event:
“The Battle of Marathon is the first battle fought and won in the name of democracy and the first great victory of democracy.”
We spent the next two days leading to the marathon and my 10K exploring Athens.