Running to the beat

By | 10th October 2012

Pheidippides is not a name to conjure with.In fact, it is doubtful whether more than a small percentage of the population will recognise the name or know for what he is allegedly famous.

Despite that, thousands of people, possibly millions, have enjoyed the spectacle this summer of the sporting event which was instituted in his memory. In 490 BC, King Darius of Persia was well on the way to subjugating Greece. Following a number of successes, the Persian fleet sailed for Attica and landed in the bay near the town of Marathon, famous for its fields of wild fennel (“marathos” in Greek). Despite a much smaller army, the Greeks triumphed over their stronger neighbours for the first time and Darius never realised his dream of conquering Athens.

Legend has it that Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens to bring the news of the Greek victory but collapsed and died of exhaustion after delivering the message. It is not known how far he ran but it is believed that it was a distance of about 25 miles. In 1896, in the first Olympics of the modern era, a race called the marathon was introduced to mark the ancient glory of Greece. The race was originally about 25 miles, the distance between Marathon and Athens.  For the London Olympics in 1908, a 26 mile course between Windsor Castle and White City Stadium had been set, and then a further 385 yards added so that  the runners could finish in front of the Royal Box, a distance which has since become standard.

On October 28th this year Millnet has entered a team in the Nike Run to the Beat half marathon and is raising money for the British Red Cross. The team comprises Marcus Craggs, James Moeskops, John Redford, Emma Kettleton, Daryl Bowen, Michael Madelin, Marta Hutkova, Sarah Coady, Ralph Turner, David Smithson, Robyn Hvidsten, Nikki Spicer, Gary Lawson, Rob Rayner, Steve Chadd, Tim Marques and Matthew Geaghan.

The aim is to raise over £5,000 and we need the readers of this blog and all our clients and friends to help Emma and her team get over the line. If you would like to donate please go to the Millnet team page on Virgin Money Giving.

Many thanks in advance for your generosity.

I am not sure which of the team will wear the mantle of Pheidippides and be the first to cross the line (on this occasion, hopefully without mishap) but everyone taking part is sure to receive a great reception and with the Red Cross benefiting from their exertions, the whole exercise is going to be very worthwhile.

Now that is a thought to conjure with!