Educational materials: 36 Hours to Sparta

The documentary 36 Hours to Sparta follows four Europeans that are competing in the Spartathlon, an international ultramarathon race that follows in the steps of the ancient runner Pheidippides. The film presents the demanding preparation that the protagonists have to face, both physically and mentally, for the 245km that they will need to cover within 36 hours from Athens to Sparta.

The historic ultramarathon is known all over the world for the heroic achievement of the Athenian runner Pheidippides, who was sent as a messenger to ask the Spartans for help in the war against the Persians in 490 BC. Herodotus mentions in Book VI that the runner started from Athens at sunrise and arrived in Sparta at sunset on the following day.

In recent years, the Spartathlon was established, an international ultramarathon race from Athens to Sparta. Athletes must cover the distance of 245hm, which is the equivalent of 6 consecutive marathons, within 36 hours.

The documentary film 36 Hours to Sparta is a short film version of the feature-length documentary film Ultra: the real Marathon, which was a Moving Docs documentary in 2017.

  • Pour regarder le film en Français, cliquez ici
  • Um den Film auf Deutsch zu sehen, klicken Sie hier
  • Για να δείτε την ταινία στα ελληνικά, πατήστε εδώ

Lesson Plans

The documentary is accompanied by a curriculum that combines the moving image with sources to encourage children and young people to discover the importance of sport in antiquity and in our lives today. The program aims to raise young people's awareness about the importance of sport in our lives.

Thematic Cycles

  • HISTORY: the importance of sport in ancient Greece
  • PHYSICAL EDUCATION: creating incentives to encourage students to discover the value of sport today.

The lesson plans are available in English, French and German.


The educational programme 36 Hours to Sparta was designed by ANEMON PRODUCTION thanks to an exclusive donation from the STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATION.


Design of History Lesson Plan by CONSTANTINA ADRIANOPOULOU (PhD in History); Physical Education Lesson Plans by ANTONIS CHRISTODOULOS (PhD in PE).

Downloads in English

History - Lesson Plan

Physical Education - Lesson Plan

Downloads in French

Histoire - Plan de Cours

Education Physique et Sportive - Plan de Cours

Downloads in German

Geschichte - Unterrichtsplan

Sport - Unterrichtsplan

Downloads in Greek

...are available here.

Find films on related themes or from the same countries
Ultra - Moving Docs

Five people from across Europe dedicate their lives to completing the Spartathlon Ultra Distance Race. We follow them through a whole year of preparation, as they confront extreme hardship and surpass the limits of their body and their mind.