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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews from Around Banderas Bay | November 2006 

Kosmas Mamadopoulos Runs Athens Marathon
email this pageprint this pageemail usBob Cohen - PVNN



Entertainer, athlete and Puerto Vallarta resident, Kosmas Mamadopoulos, plays his music at Le Gourmet Restaurant and his tennis at Canto Del Sol Tennis Club. Click HERE to see a profile of Kosmas Mamadopoulos.
Entertainer, athlete and Puerto Vallarta resident, Kosmas Mamadopoulos, who plays his music at Le Gourmet Restaurant and his tennis at Canto Del Sol Tennis Club, recently traded in his tennis shoes for running shoes to compete in the 26.2 mile Athens Classic Marathon.

After returning to Greece last summer, Kosmas had minor knee surgery, but not before he retained his top ranking in the Masters tennis circuit in Greece and improved his world ranking to an amazing #177, far better than the #787 ranking he achieved a year ago.

After completing his postoperative rehabilitation program, Kosmas trained to compete in the historic Athens Classic Marathon, which took place on November 5, 2006. He finished the marathon - quite an amazing feat for one that has never run in the grueling long distance race.

The term Marathon race is actually Greek, and became a major part of the Olympic Games as well as events run worldwide competitively. The historic story follows:

In 500 BC, the Greek colonies of Asia Minor revolted against their Persian overlords. They naturally looked for help from Greece itself. The Athenians and the Retrains sent expeditionary forces to aid the unsuccessful revolt. This naturally drew the attention of the Persian Great King and in 490 BC he sent an expeditionary force by sea under Datis to punish the Greeks for their intervention. The force sent was approximately 20,000-25,000 men including 5,000 cavalry and was clearly intended primarily as a punitive action against the Athenians rather than an invasion of Greece.

The Persian Great King was in communication with certain factions within Athens who were conspiring to hand the city over to him provided the Athenian army was dealt with first. The Persians first landed on Euboea and burnt Eretria. As well as dealing a good lesson to the Eretrians this action was calculated to draw the Athenian army some distance from Athens itself. The Persian army then camped on the mainland on the plain of Marathon.

Meanwhile the Athenians had sent a fast runner by the name of Phedippedes to ask for aid from Sparta. He ran all the way to Sparta only to be informed that the Spartans would not be able to send aid until their Lunar Religious Festival was over. This was neither the first nor the last time that religious rites were used by the Spartans as a reason to await the turn of events. Phedippedes then sped back on foot carrying this bad news.

In the interim, the Athenian hoplite force 10,000 strong augmented by a 1,000 strong Plataean contingent had marched overland to Marathon. They launched an attack which appears to have caught the Persians somewhat by surprise. There is some evidence that the Persians had reembarked their cavalry and some infantry for a dash on undefended Athens, with the expectation that their remaining forces would pin down or at least delay the Greek army at Marathon. In any case, the Persian cavalry had no recorded effect on what occurred in the action to follow.


The Marathon battle. (Yannis)


Seeing the cavalry was not available, the Greeks moved from the high rocky ground to form their forces across the width of the plain. In order to do so they weakened their centre to extend their line. Seeing the Greek deployment, the Persian army advanced from its camp to accept the challenge. The Greeks then advanced rapidly to minimize the effect of Persian archery. The Persian forces in the centre forced back the thin Greek centre but were enveloped when the wings were broken and fled to their ships. The retiring Persians embarked with great difficulty, many men drowning while attempting to escape. Total loses are estimated at over 6000 against only 192 for the Greeks, which included the loss of their Archon Callimachus.

The Persian fleet then attempted to sail to Athens before the Greek army could return but were forestalled by a forced march so that as the Persian ships arrived they saw the Greek troops arrayed on the shoreline. The Spartans arrived soon after the battle and were astounded to discover that the Athenians had driven off the first Persian attack on Greece without their help. It would be ten years before the next serious attempt by the Persians to interfere with Greek politics would result in Xerxes defeat at Salamis and Plataea and the glory of Thermopylae.

Footnote: Phedippedes returned from Sparta, ran to Marathon, fought in the battle and then ran back to Athens carrying the news of victory before falling dead from exhaustion. It was in memory of his deed that the long distance race in the modern Olympic Games (a mere 26 miles plus!) was named the Marathon.

In 500 BC, the Greek colonies of Asia Minor revolted against their Persian overlords. They naturally looked for help from Greece itself. The Athenians and the Eretrians sent expeditionary forces to aid the unsuccessful revolt. This naturally drew the attention of the Persian Great King and in 490 BC he sent an expeditionary force by sea under Datis to punish the Greeks for their intervention. The force sent was approximately 20,000-25,000 men including 5,000 cavalry and was clearly intended primarily as a punitive action against the Athenians rather than an invasion of Greece.

The Persian Great King was in communication with certain factions within Athens who were conspiring to hand the city over to him provided the Athenian army was dealt with first. The Persians first landed on Euboea and burnt Eretria. As well as dealing a good lesson to the Eretrians this action was calculated to draw the Athenian army some distance from Athens itself. The Persian army then camped on the mainland on the plain of Marathon.

Meanwhile the Athenians had sent a fast runner by the name of Phedippedes to ask for aid from Sparta. He ran all the way to Sparta only to be informed that the Spartans would not be able to send aid until their Lunar Religious Festival was over. This was neither the first nor the last time that religious rites were used by the Spartans as a reason to await the turn of events. Phedippedes then sped back on foot carrying this bad news.

In the interim, the Athenian hoplite force 10,000 strong augmented by a 1,000 strong Plataean contingent had marched overland to Marathon. They launched an attack which appears to have caught the Persians somewhat by surprise. There is some evidence that the Persians had reembarked their cavalry and some infantry for a dash on undefended Athens, with the expectation that their remaining forces would pin down or at least delay the Greek army at Marathon. In any case, the Persian cavalry had no recorded effect on what occurred in the action to follow.

Seeing the cavalry was not available, the Greeks moved from the high rocky ground to form their forces across the width of the plain. In order to do so they weakened their centre to extend their line. Seeing the Greek deployment, the Persian army advanced from its camp to accept the challenge. The Greeks then advanced rapidly to minimize the effect of Persian archery. The Persian forces in the centre forced back the thin Greek centre but were enveloped when the wings were broken and fled to their ships. The retiring Persians embarked with great difficulty, many men drowning while attempting to escape. Total loses are estimated at over 6000 against only 192 for the Greeks, which included the loss of their Archon Callimachus.

The Persian fleet then attempted to sail to Athens before the Greek army could return but were forestalled by a forced march so that as the Persian ships arrived they saw the Greek troops arrayed on the shoreline. The Spartans arrived soon after the battle and were astounded to discover that the Athenians had driven off the first Persian attack on Greece without their help. It would be ten years before the next serious attempt by the Persians to interfere with Greek politics would result in Xerxes defeat at Salamis and Plataea and the glory of Thermopylae.

Footnote: Phedippedes returned from Sparta, ran to Marathon, fought in the battle and then ran back to Athens carrying the news of victory before falling dead from exhaustion. It was in memory of his deed that the long distance race in the modern Olympic Games (a mere 26 miles plus!) was named the Marathon.

The photo above is a prized possession for this competitive man and is his medal for the marathon and next to it is the certification form the ATP noting best world ranking he has achieved in tennis. One never knows who we become friends with in our beautiful resort of Puerto Vallarta.

Entertainer, athlete and Puerto Vallarta resident, Kosmas Mamadopoulos, plays his music at Le Gourmet Restaurant and his tennis at Canto Del Sol Tennis Club. Click HERE to see a profile of Kosmas Mamadopoulos.



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