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Long distances are always a particular challenge – for man and machine alike. However, they also inspire outstanding performances. When the men’s marathon starts on 21st August in Rio de Janeiro, it’s all about setting new records with stamina – a skill which recently led a dark-blue ŠKODA FABIA to a new record within its class.

It was hot in the Athens basin in 490 BC, when the Greek military leaders sent the messenger Pheidippides to Sparta. His mission: to obtain help against the Persian army under King of Kings Darius I. In an unbelievable feat of physical exertion, the messenger is said to have covered approximately 245 km across the Isthmus of Corinth to the south of the Peloponnese peninsula in about 36 hours. The Spartans refused to help straight away, and Pheidippides ran back. Despite this, the Athenians defeated the Persians on the lowlands close to the small Greek town of Marathon. Legend has it that the messenger was so excited that he ran the 40 km to Athens afterwards to tell people about the victory – the myth of the marathon was born.

Long-distance running – the event of kings – had to endure a few interferences, however. An English princess added the finishing touches at the 1908 Olympic Games in London. She insisted on being able to watch the competition from her palace window. The distance was adjusted accordingly to exactly 42.195 km, and the best runners in the world continue to compete over this distance. In the men’s race of the 31st modern Olympic Games, the runners will make their way around the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro on 21st August.

31 times around the world

Another true king of long distances is a dark-blue ŠKODA FABIA 1.9 TDI Elegance, built in 2005. The hatchback has done a couple of messenger jobs in service of an international haulier – and it hasn’t travelled just one, but 29,762 marathons. That equates to 1.25 million kilometres in ten years or works out at 31 times around the earth – a new long-distance record within its vehicle class.

The impressive distance is evidence of the uncompromising quality with which ŠKODA builds its vehicles. At the same time, the record is also a tacit yet clear case for maintenance and an adherence to service intervals. Just as the top athletes in Rio de Janeiro rely on the appropriate care, the small FABIA also needs looking after. And when wear and tear finally take their toll, the perfect replacement is on hand thanks to ŠKODA original replacement parts or approved economy parts. The well-looked-after elite long-distance runners in the men’s race on 21st August will make it safely across the finish line after 42.195 kilometres. And the dark-blue FABIA will continue to collect more records away from the spotlight, always one kilometre after another.