It is with deep regret that we have been made aware of the sad news that John Foden has recently passed away.
The Spartathlon race aims to trace the footsteps of Pheidippides, an Athenian messenger sent to Sparta in 490 BC to seek help against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. Pheidippides, according to an account by Greek historian Herodotus in The Persian Wars, arrived in Sparta the day after he departed. Herodotus wrote: “On the occasion of which we speak when Pheidippides was sent by the Athenian generals, and, according to his own account, saw Pan on his journey, he reached Sparta on the very next day after quitting the city of Athens.”.
Based on this account, British RAF Wing Commander John Foden and four other RAF officers travelled to Greece in 1982 on an official expedition to test whether it was possible to cover the nearly 250 kilometres in a day and a half.
Three runners were successful in completing the distance including John Foden and this journey gave birth to the Spartathlon event.
Our thoughts are with John’s family at this time. His legacy will never be forgotten.
You may read the press release on the Spartathlon website here