The Ancient Olympic Competition Of Hoplitodromos Required Runners To?
Answer: Wear 50 Pounds Of Armor
If you’d like to see an Olympic event with an emphasis on strength and military showmanship, look no further than the hoplitodromos–one of the few ancient Olympic events that has never been seen in modern Olympic trials.
Introduced to the Olympics in 520 BC, the hoplitodromos was as much an Olympic event as a military training exercise. Participants were, unlike the nude competitors in other races, required to wear the trappings of a hoplite infantryman from which the race took its name. The runners wore greaves and heavy helmet, as well as carried the aspis, the bronze covered wood shield used by Greek infantry. The total encumbrance for the runner was, at minimum, fifty pounds or so.
The race itself varied depending on the location, but could be as short as 350-400 meters or as long as 2,800-3,000 meters in length. These distances are roughly equivalent to modern Olympic events of similar distances, but with a significant increase in strength required to carry the heavy gear.
Image courtesy of Marie-Lan Nguyen.