Louisa GouliamakiAFP/Getty Images
November 13, 2011 runners will follow in the footsteps of Pheidippides as they track the route of the first Marathon. We capitalize the name because it was from this small coastal town that one man struggled the original 26 miles to Athens -- across arid, rocky ground. When he got there he proclaimed civilization was safe, that the Greek army had defeated the Persians. He then keeled over and died. The route is not for the faint-hearted.
(An athlete runs by 'the runner' statue during the Athens classic Marathon race on October 31, 2010. This year's Athens marathon is taking place on the 2,500th anniversary of the battle of Marathon in 490 BC and the legendary run by Pheidippides from the Marathon Battlefield to the city of Athens.)