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The Road to Sparta

Reliving the Ancient Battle and Epic Run That Inspired the World's Greatest Footrace

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Description

The Road to Sparta is the story of the 153-mile run from Athens to Sparta that inspired the marathon and saved democracy, as told--and experienced-by ultramarathoner and New York Times bestselling author Dean Karnazes.

In 490 BCE, Pheidippides ran for 36 hours straight from Athens to Sparta to seek help in defending Athens from a Persian invasion in the Battle of Marathon. In doing so, he saved the development of Western civilization and inspired the birth of the marathon as we know it. Even now, some 2,500 years later, that run stands enduringly as one of greatest physical accomplishments in the history of mankind.

Karnazes personally honors Pheidippides and his own Greek heritage by recreating this ancient journey in modern times. Karnazes even abstains from contemporary endurance nutrition like sports drinks and energy gels and only eats what was available in 490 BCE, such as figs, olives, and cured meats. Through vivid details and internal dialogs, The Road to Sparta offers a rare glimpse into the mindset and motivation of an extreme athlete during his most difficult and personal challenge to date. This story is sure to captivate and inspire--whether you run great distances or not at all.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 04, 2016 – Endurance athlete and author Karnazes (Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner) recounts his participation in the 153-mile race from Athens to Sparta in this engaging memoir. After logging a remarkable list of running accomplishments—including running an ultramarathon across Death Valley in 120-degree heat, running to the South Pole in −40 degrees, and running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days—Karnazes details the difficulties and joys of training for and running the Athens-to-Sparta route. He provides an eye-opening historical refresher course recounting the ancient battle between the Greeks and the Persians, when Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta then turned around and ran from Sparta to Marathon, via Athens, in order to deliver crucial information. “My point,” he writes, “is that the annals of history have grossly under-recognized the significance of Pheidippides’s superhuman act.” Karnazes recounts his family history with its Greek roots and explores the deep feelings he develops for the people and landscape of his ancestral homeland. As the author readies for the race, he explains, “For me, the quest was deeply personal. I’d been waiting a lifetime to be standing in this place, and at that moment I saw this more clearly than ever.” This is a remarkable and inspiring memoir that will have casual and serious runners cheering.
The Road to Sparta
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Sports & Outdoors
  • Published: Oct 25, 2016
  • Publisher: Rodale
  • Seller: Rodale Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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