Athens marathon review: runners

Athens Marathon Review: How to Participate Like a Pro

A review of everything you need to know before registering at the Athens Marathon. The dates, the available routes, the fees, and where to stay during the event.

First of all, I want to make something clear; I like running, but I do not love it. I’m not the type of person who runs three or four times a week. My favorite training methods are CrossFit and, recently, padel. However, I prefer to run occasionally, especially when I feel overwhelmed, and I want to clear my mind.

Nevertheless, this has not stopped me from participating several times in the Athens Marathon and having a fantastic experience. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the whole city celebrates on the day of the race. Tens of thousands of Athenians and visitors from abroad are taking part in the classic route of 42 kilometers or the routes of 5 and 10 kilometers. Among others, you will meet professional runners who train exclusively for the event, older people, parents with baby strollers, and people with disabilities.

At the same time, hundreds of residents are on the street to cheer on the participants. In other parts of the town, some bands play live music to motivate you. However, best of all is the finish at the 2,000-year-old Panathenaic Stadium, which welcomes thousands of spectators to its stands.

Even after the race, the cafes and restaurants in the city center are full of people. You even need to make a reservation many days in advance to find a spot in many of them. So, whether you love running or just want to live a memorable experience, add the Athens Marathon to your schedule. It is a key event in Athens worth living.

Athens Marathon review; stations and vendors

If you would like to review Athens Marathon with a single phrase, you could say that it is a well-organized race. Along the routes, there are stations offering water and energy gels. Even so, don’t rely on them and make sure to bring with you what you need.

At the finish, the sponsors offer free fruits, usually bananas, while you will also find massage points. Moreover, opposite the Panathenaic Stadium, there is a vendors area for some quick shopping.

What makes, though, the event special is its historical significance. The participation is massive, and you can feel the excitement around.

Athens Marathon dates

Athens Marathon takes place every year on the second weekend of November. Thus, in 2021 it will take place on Saturday 13th and Sunday, November 14th. The final date for registrations is October 25th, 2021, at the latest. In case the participation limits are met before October 25th, registrations will close earlier.

Athens marathon review: runners

Athens Marathon 2021 routes review

The 2021 Athens Marathon event includes the following Road Races;

  • Marathon Race & Power Walking 42.195 km on the Authentic Course (Road Race A & Road Race B) | November 14th; The Marathon Race “A” will start at 09:00, and Marathon Race “B” will begin at 09.45. Each starting block will have up to 500 runners.
  • 10 km Road Race (Road Race A & Road Race B) | November 13th; The 10km Race “A” will start at 17:00, and Marathon Race “B” will begin at 18.00. Each starting block will have up to 500 runners.
  • 5 km Road Race (Road Race A & Road Race B) | November 14th; The 5km Race “A” will start at 08:00, and the 5km Race “B” will begin at 09:00. Each starting block will have up to 500 runners.

In 2021 the Kids Run and the 1000m Special Olympics Run will not take place to ensure the safest appliance of the Health Protocol.

How much does the Athens Marathon cost?

For each of the above routes, there are two different registration levels, Advanced and Full. However, runners traveling to Greece from countries outside the European Union are obligatorily registered in the Full Registration Level.

The Advanced Registration Level includes:

  • Bib Number with incorporated timing chip.
  • Race T-shirt.
  • Race Magazine (e-format).
  • Services during the race (feed zones and medical assistance) and after the race.
  • Clothing management during the race.
  • Accident Insurance during the race.
  • Finisher’s Medal.
  • Online Results.
  • Participation Certificate with finish time (after the announcement of the Official Race Results).

The Full Registration Level includes all the above plus:

  • Sport bag
  • 50% discount on the entrance fee at the Acropolis Museum

As for the prices, they are the following:

  • 5 km Road Race – Individual Registration – Advanced Registration Level 26,00€
  • 5 km Road Race – Individual Registration – Full Registration Level 80,00€
  • 10 km Road Race – Individual Registration – Advanced Registration Level 35,00€
  • 10 km Road Race – Individual Registration – Full Registration Level 85,00€
  • Marathon Race – Individual Registration – Advanced Registration Level 45,00€
  • Marathon Race – Individual Registration – Full Registration Level 100,00€

You can register using this entry form.

Where to stay during Athens Marathon

Panathenaic Stadium
Athens Marathon finishes in the Panathenaic Stadium. It’s recommended to stay within walking distance.

The Authentic Route (42 km) starts at the Historic Marathon Start Venue, Marathon Stadium. All runners are transported to the starting point by the event’s buses. The start of Road Races 5 km & 10 km takes place in Vasilissis Amalias Avenue, in front of Bodosakis Megaron, towards the Syntagma Square. All races finish inside the Panathenaic Stadium.

At the same time, most of the streets in the city center are closed. So if you are a spectator, you will have to use either public transport or walk to get around.

Thus, the best place to stay is the city center as it is also where all the action takes place. At the same time, you want to be downtown after the race, either to quickly return to your hotel or visit a cafe for a post-workout meal.

Best hotels next to Athens Marathon finish:
Best Luxury Hotel: Hotel Grande Bretagne.
Best Middle-priced Hotel: Athens BlueBuilding.
Best Cheap Hotel: Crafoord Place Hostel Athens.

Event’s highlights

What are the highlights of the Athens Marathon?

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

  • 12:30–13.15: Opening Ceremony – Marathon Flame Lighting Ceremony (Marathon Tomb) – Torch Relay from the Marathon Tomb to the Marathon Start Venue.
  • 17:00: 10 km Road Race.

Sunday, November 14th, 2021

  • 08:00: 5 km Road Race.
  • 09:00: Historic Start of Marathon Race at Marathon Town.
  • 11:09: Estimated Finish Time of the 1st Male Marathon Runner.
  • 11:30-12:00: Medal Awards Ceremony for the Winners of Marathon Race & Hellenic Marathon National Championships.

Admission at the Panathenaic Stadium and the Opening Ceremony venue in Marathon Tomb is free for spectators to attend the above events.

Runner and Athens’ visitor

You can combine your participation in the Athens Marathon with a trip to the city of Athens. After all, Athens is one of the oldest cities globally and offers both modern life and rich history. Without a doubt, it is ideal for those who like to visit ancient monuments and world-famous museums. But, at the same time, it offers a vibrant life, with delicious restaurants, great bars and cafes, and various theatrical and music festivals.

The “how many days in Athens?” guide will help you decide the number of days that suit you best. It also recommends the city’s most important attractions, depending on your decision. So, check it out, and feel free to ask your questions in the comments section.

Make Your Trip Easier

Airport Transfer
If you want to get to and from Athens Airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but it is totally worth it. They use local, English-speaking drivers, who will wait for you even if your flight is delayed and introduce you to the city during your ride.

I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like They offer a price guarantee and 24/7 support in case of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.

From day trips to Greek islands to Acropolis Guided Tours, GetYourGuide will help you find some unique ideas for your trip.

Car Rental
If you decide to rent a car while in Athens, check Rentalcars. It compares the most reliable companies and returns the best prices with free cancellation.

Free Athens Tours
If you have limited time or want a local guide to introduce you to the city, check GuruWalk. They offer free tours, and at the end, you give them the amount you think is fair.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you if you get sick or injured while abroad, or if you lose your luggage or your flight is delayed. On my trips, I use SafetyWing as it’s affordable and has a simple claims process.

Sunny Athens is reader-supported. Some of the links above may be affiliate links for which I may receive compensation if you click, at no cost to you. This does not influence my evaluations. Learn more in Advertise Disclosure.

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