Whenever runners participating in the original marathon route experience a unique thrill. This year, however, there was a much stronger reason, apart from the run.
The most exciting moments of the 36th Athens Marathon were played out many kilometers before the finish line at the Panathinaiko Stadium. It was when the runners crossed the area of Mati, where the fire stricken inhabitants staged a symbolic protest.
Emotions were indescribable. The runners either lifted their hand to those people who lost their relatives and their homes by the lethal fire, other participants in the run were applauding the fire victims.
The people who had suffered in the fire had gathered from early Sunday morning along the marathon route for a symbolic protest. "We are giving our own marathon and winning", was the message on banners that had been hung, while people held black balloons, with the date of the deadly fire and the words "I do not forget".
The organizers of the Athens Marathon had asked runners to wear a green bandana to make this part of the marathon race "green", hoping that the area will have recuperated by the next event.