Last year I ran the Athens Marathon (in Greece) and enjoyed it. This year (2010) it is the special anniversary of 2,500 years from the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) so I was thinking of doing it again.
Then, my wife, who has not run a marathon yet, threw the idea of making this her FIRST marathon. I told her that she is crazy (it is a very hard course)but we talked about it and became comfortable with the idea, and started making plans. Sounded like a wonderful idea to go and enjoy the experience together. I loved it! I even got a stack of books and started reading about the history of the Battle of Marathon.
The registration opened a month ago. They sent me an email saying that I should register early because of the increased interest due to the anniversary. They said something like the race could fill by the end of Spring. Last year I waited until the last minute, just a couple of days before the deadline, sometime in October (!), and there were openings. There were about 3,500 runners last year. This year they said they will limit the field to 12,000 runners.
So, I go today to the web site, and what do I see? The race is filled and the registration is closed!!
I did a bit of research and found that it closed in 2 weeks! (by April 1 - no joke!) In two weeks they filled 12,000 spots, while last year they only had 3,500 runners? Hard to believe. But they say that only 4,000 registrations were open to the general public. The rest were distributed to different groups and tourist organizations outside Greece, ahead of time. I really don't understand this. 2 out of 3 registrations go to organizations and let the general public out of the race?
They also say that around June (no date specified) they might free some registrations from cancelations (no specifics, nothing), so check the web site around this time. This is unacceptable and irritating. One needs to make plans, make flight reservations, train for the race, etc., so now we have to wait until June, just in case we get lucky? I say, screw them! Who needs that?