In the Greco-Roman world stadiums were used for athletic contests including running races (compare Acts 20:24; Gal 2:2; Phil 2:16; 2 Tim 4:7; etc.) wrestling, boxing (1 Cor 9:26–27), discus and javelin throwing and other spectacles.
Note how the writer of the book of Hebrews (12:1) writes "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
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The real(!) home of Santa Claus is in southern TURKEY! Until recently the town was called Kale, but in ancient times Myra. In the town is a church that is associated with Saint Nicholas—Father Christmas, a.k.a. in northern Europe as Santa Claus!
St. Nicholas was born in nearby Patara about A.D. 300 and served as the bishop of Myra later in his life. A number of miracles are attributed to this revered bishop, including his providing a dowry to the three daughters of a local baker. Thus he is associated with “gift giving!” He was also the patron saint of sailors and was prayed to for protection at sea.