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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 September 2014
SATURDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2014 19 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 'Ultramarathon Man' takes on Spartathlon movie Greek American athlete follows in the footsteps of Pheidippides 'Ultramarathon Man' Dean Karnazes is to feature in a new film about the Spartathlon - the historic ultra-distance foot race that takes place in September every year in Greece. The Road to Sparta will be filmed during this year's race which will be run on September 26 and 27. The movie will follow the progress of Karnazes and three other runners - Athens nurse Angela Terzi, Mark Woolley and Mark Pinnington - as they take on the gruelling 246 kilometres from Athens to Sparta. The Spartathlon follows the route believed to have been taken by Pheidippides in 490 BC when, according to Herodotus, he was sent to raise Spartan reinforcements to fight the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. "I have been wanting to run the Spartathlon for a long, long time," says Karnazes, who shot to fame for his best-selling 1995 book Ultramarathon Man. "It never fit into my schedule, though, until now. So I am delighted tobeabletogobackto my home country and take on this great race." Karnazes, 51, will make the task more difficult by only eating the foods that Pheidippides would have had in ancient times. "I am writing a book about [him] so I want to take on the course using only the foods and drink that would have been available to him two and a half thousand years ago. "That means only water and olives, along with figs and dried meat and a paste composed of sesame seeds and honey." The man behind the film is internationally renowned sports journalist Barney Spender, who spent five years in Greece from 2004 to 2009. Spender - who ran the Athens Classic Marathon in 2002 - told Neos Kosmos he first became aware of the Spartathlon in 2006. "The winner that year was Scott Jurek and I managed to get him on the phone for an interview. I was fascinated by the idea that these people would run six marathons back to back. And enjoy it!" Spender believes the race makes the perfect subject for a film seen through the runners' eyes. "IfeelIhaveadutytotry and make something that will capture the wonderful essence of this race, not just the pain and the sweat and the glory but the history and the genuine camaraderie. I want to know what goes on in a runner's head when he or she is on the road for 36 hours!" Spender has worked as a journalist for Reuters, the BBC and The Times newspaper. He currently works for Eurosport. "I love this race," he says, "everything that it represents, the rich history of Greece and the incredible determination of every runner to push themselves beyond their perceived limits." The Road to Sparta is being funded through a crowd-funding campaign at Indiegogo. You can follow the progress of the film and the funding campaign on the 'Road to Sparta Movie' Facebook page. MICHAEL SWEET Dean Karnazes to take on the gruelling 246 kilometre run from Athens to Sparta. Dean Karnezes' efforts to run the Spartathlon on the Pheidippides diet will be central to the film The Road to Sparta. Caryatids unearthed in ancient Amphipolis New discoveries in the Kasta Hill tomb in northern Greece support the theory that a prominent Macedonian was buried there Two caryatids - sculpted female figures of exceptional artistic value - were unearthed last Saturday during excavations in the ancient Amphipolis Kasta tomb, in northern Greece, with specialists noting that the new findings further support the view that the monument is of major importance. According to a culture ministry announcement, the face of the western caryatid is saved almost intact, whereas the face of the eastern caryatid is missing. Their positioning is such to symbolically prevent entry to the tomb, while the technique used is the same with the two sphinxes already found during the excavations. Traces of red and blue colour were found on the figures, referring to Kore female statues. The arrangement of the tomb's second entrance, featuring the caryatids, constitutes an important finding that supports the view according to which the monument is exceptional and of major importance, the culture ministry underlined. Last week, a stunning mosaic floor made from pieces of white marble on a red background was also uncovered in the antechamber behind the tomb entrance. It is believed that the tomb houses a very important figure from 320-300 BC, as the burial complex is ten times larger than the tomb of Alexander's father, Philip II of Macedon in Vergina. Archaeologists took two years to excavate the burial mound on Kasta Hill to discover the entrance of the tomb, which is guarded by two sphinxes, who lost their heads and wings in antiquity. Behind the sealing wall, an antechamber and three other chambers have been discovered, and it appears that the tomb was sealed by pouring sand into the tomb through gaps at the top of the diaphragmatic walls of the chambers. Excavations, which began in 2012, have not yet determined who was buried in the tomb but culture ministry officials have said that the monument appeared to belong to a prominent Macedonian from 300-325 BC. Source: Reuters Archaeologists facing the exceptional discovery. The face of one of the caryatids is missing.
20 September 2014