Marathon Flame to travel to Antarctic Ice Marathon
The Antarctic Ice Marathon is excited to announce that the iconic 'Marathon Flame' will travel to Antarctica for the 8th edition of the event on 20 November 2012.
The Marathon Flame was created by the Athens Classic Marathon Organising Committee, the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS) and the Municipality of Marathon at a special ceremony near the Tomb of the Athenians in 2007. It has been adopted by AIMS (The Association of International Marathons and the road running affiliate of IAAF) and of the Marathon Movement worldwide.
The Flame burns as a symbol of peace and hope and serves to convey the Olympic ideals of fair competition, the promotion of participation in sports as a way of life, and the comradeship of people of all countries and races.
The Antarctic Ice Marathon submitted a successful request to the Executive Board of SEGAS to host and honour the Marathon Flame during the 8th Antarctic Ice Marathon event. It was agreed that the Flame be taken to Antarctica by the Greek-Cypriot marathon runner and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Mr Nasos Ktorides.
Mr Vassilis Sevastis, President of SEGAS, says "It was a great honour for the Federation and the Marathon Flame itself to receive the request. We were very glad to accept it and we are confident the Flame will be treated in a very special way."
Richard Donovan, organiser of the Antarctic Ice Marathon, says "When Pheidippides ran the first ever marathon from Marathon to Athens in 490BC, he was giving news of a victory over seemingly insurmountable odds. I'm certain the Marathon Flame's first appearance on the seventh continent will inspire the runners to be victorious in finishing the race, despite the seemingly insurmountable odds Antarctica can sometimes present. The Flame's presence in Antarctica will also demonstrate the truly global outreach of the Marathon Movement and its ideals."
The Marathon Flame is lit every October/November, on the eve of the Athens Classic Marathon. The lighting occurs during a special international ceremony that takes place inside the sacred archeological site of the Battle of Marathon Warriors' Tomb. The Flame is kept in the Marathon Run Museum throughout the year after its Lighting Ceremony.
To date, the Flame has travelled to four continents (Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa) and big city marathons such as Boston, Chicago, Prague and Mumbai. After its visit to Antarctica, Mr Ktorides will bring the flame to the Quantum Nicosia Marathon in Cyprus, which he organises.
Picture (opposite): The Marathon Flame at the Mumbai Marathon, India