Marathon Exhibit at Chicago’s National Hellenic Museum

An exhibit on the Spirit of the Marathon, the race inspired by the real battle 2,500 years ago, will be held at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, dedicated to the running event and the history surrounding it.

The exhibit, in conjunction with the Ethnikos Kirix newspaper newspaper, focuses on the history of the course, from the Marathon Battle in 490 B.C and the first modern Olympic Marathon in in Athens in 1896, won by Spiridon Louis, to the Bank of America Marathon held on Oct. 7 in Chicago.

It also includes the stirring triumph of Greek-Cypriot Stylianos Kyriakides, who won the 1946 Boston Marathon despite warnings he could drop dead in the streets because of malnutrition suffered in his homeland, where thousands had starved to death during WWII and its aftermath. He won against all odds, stayed in Boston and New York for another month and returned to Greece with boatloads of food and supplies and was welcomed by nearly one million people.

The exhibit aims to show the way that Marathon that used to be a simple course turned into an international event of unity. It also focuses on the global dimension of the race as an event celebrating national pride and the strength of the human will to endure a grueling course.

The museum has organized special programs around the event for children and is offering them half-price tickets through Nov. 14.