Conquering the Elevation of the Athens Marathon. The Authentic

The Athens Marathon, known as “The Authentic,” is renowned not only for its historical significance but also for its challenging elevation profile. 

The course, which starts in the town of Marathon and finishes in the iconic Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, features significant elevation changes that test the endurance and resilience of every participant. 

Here’s a detailed account of the Athens Marathon course elevation changes throughout the race and essential information for those planning to take on this historic challenge.

Overview of Elevation Changes

The Athens Marathon course is characterised by a series of rolling hills and significant elevation gains, particularly in the middle section of the race. 

Here’s a breakdown of the elevation changes:

  • Maximum Elevation: 816 feet (248 meters)
  • Minimum Elevation: 22 feet (6 meters)
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1258 feet (383 meters)
  • Total Elevation Loss: 1097 feet (334 meters) 

Check out this interactive map to learn more about the Athens Marathon elevation profile

Detailed Elevation Breakdown

When it comes to breaking down the elevation changes of the Athens Marathon route it’s easiest to split the race up into 5 sections:

Start to 5km: Gradual Decline

  • Elevation loss: Approximately 26 metres (85 feet)

The start of the race maintains a gradual decline or relatively flat track for the first few kilometres. 

This section allows runners to warm up and find their pace before the more challenging parts of the course begin.

5km to 16km: Rolling Hills

  • Elevation gain: Approximately 120 metres (393 feet)

From the 5km to the 17km mark, the course features a series of rolling hills. 

This section is a mix of short ascents and descents, which can be both physically and mentally demanding.

It’s important to maintain a steady pace and not push too hard too early.

16km to 18km: Steep Downhill

  • Elevation loss: Approximately 53 metres (174 feet)

The stretch from 16km to 18km includes a steep downhill section. 

This part of the course can be a relief after the rolling hills, but it also requires careful attention to avoid straining the legs.

18km to 31km: Continuous Uphill

  • Elevation Gain: Approximately 256 metres (840 feet)

The most challenging part of the course begins at the 18km mark and continues until the 31km mark. 

This section is a continuous uphill climb, with the steepest inclines occurring around the 19km and 30km marks.

This uphill is relentless and many runners will combine a mixture of running and walking to complete this part of the race.

31km to Finish: Descent into Athens

  • Elevation Loss: Approximately 155 metres (509 feet)

After conquering the uphill challenge, runners are rewarded with a descent into Athens from the 31km mark to the finish line. 

This section is mostly downhill, providing some relief to tired legs, but it can also be tough on the knees.

Looking to participate in this year's Athens Marathon?

Travelling Fit has helped runners from across the world travel to and compete in this historic event for over 18 years!

Our Athen Marathon travel package options feature 5 Day/4 Night & 7 Day / 6 Night itineraries which offer a range of tour options and include:

  • Guaranteed Race Entry (Runners Only)
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • Return airport transfers
  • Escorted coach transfer to race start (runners only)
  • Assistance by English Speaking ground staff
  • Personalised Travelling Fit Running Top
  • exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
  • Invite to Travelling Fit’s Athens Marathon Closed Facebook Group
  • exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
  • Delivery of Marathon Race Pack to your hotel including goodie bag and official race T-shirt
  • 24/7 help desk during your stay
  • VAT Tax

Check out our packages page to learn more or contact us today to speak with a member of our friendly team!