A ruthless dictator watched carefully as a nearby country transitioned from a more authoritarian government to become a democracy. Much to the dismay of the tyrant, the new freedoms took hold and triggered unrest and uprisings in the tyrant’s very large dictatorship. He warned the leaders of the smaller democratic republic to surrender all powers and resources to him. They refused so he organized a massive military operation and invaded.
This is not todays news from Ukraine but the history of how Athens, Greece established the first democracy in 490B.C.E. Persian King Darius I conquered various city states on the warpath to destroy tiny Athens—whose army was outnumbered 5 to 1. But the Athenians rose to the challenge, due in part to the runner/messengers led by Phidippides—who didn’t just run from Marathon to Athens. He ran about 327 miles to seek aid from Sparta and to mobilize the messenger runners (hemerodromoi) into a powerful support force for the troops.
This journey is now the Phidippides mileage challenge which you can join here. You’ll virtually run the route of Phidippides, learn about the history and listen to an audio narrative, that weaves together what was happening “behind the scenes”. You’ll earn a great medal and T-shirt, discover where you are on the route with each workout posted, and unlock history and visuals of the places and happenings. LEARN AND BE MOTIVATED!