February 3rd 2023

4 Mercian complete Marathon’s Marathon in Greece


In November, ten Reservists from 4 Mercian completed a six-day Overseas Sports Visit (OSV) in Athens, Greece.

4 Mercian Reserves in Greece

Nine personnel from 4 Mercian safely and successfully completed Marathon’s Marathon the Original, which is notorious for not only its
challenging nature with over half the race being uphill with an average temperature of 19°.

The modern Maraton’s Marathon traces back to the inception of marathon racing at the Battle of
Marathon when a messenger named Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greeks’
victory over the Persians in 490 BC.

Private Skidmore, who has served in the Reserves for 2 years whilst working toward completing his
PhD, is an avid runner and ran the fastest time.

The 2022 Marathon’s Marathon took place on Remembrance Sunday, so a group of 4 Mercian Reserves
paid a visit to the Phaleron War Cemetery – a commonwealth war cemetery, commemorating the
servicemen who unfortunately lost their lives in the Second World War.

Regimental wreath on the headstone of Private William Mitchinson Perry

The most junior soldier on the OSV, Private Paul Shepherd laid a regimental wreath on the headstone of
Private William Mitchinson Perry. He was a soldier of the Sherwood Foresters, an antecedent
regiment of The Mercian Regiment, who lost his life on the 25th December 1944 at the age of 21.

The Olympics Museum is the finish line for The Athens Marathon, so the troops took the opportunity
to learn about the history and the importance of not just the Olympic Games but the Panathenaic
Stadium in Athens also. The stadium being where the inaugural Olympic Games were held in 1896.

Another highlight was a trip to the War Museum. Including an excellent exhibition of preserved war
relics. This was a great afternoon spent understanding how Greek warfighting has changed over the
years and how the Hellenistic history of Greece has led them to where they are now.

After all the excitement of the week, 4 Mercian troops took a visit to the Acropolis which was a
scenic end to Exercise Authentic Eagle, Overseas Sports Visit.