The 34th “Athens Marathon. The Authentic” made and marked history on Sunday, November 13, attracting thousands of athletes from across the globe to run the classic race from the seaside town of Marathon to the Greek capital.
The winner of the 34th marathon was 28-year-old Kenyan athlete Lobuwan Luka Rotich crossing the finish line in just 2 hours and 12:49 minutes in his debut on the original course.
Marking 120 years since the first modern marathon race was held at the 1896 Olympics, the Athens Marathon was held this year in honor of Greek pacifist and track & field champion Grigoris Lambrakis (April 3, 1912 – May 27, 1963).
Marathon Mayor Ilias Psinakis helped Attica Prefect Rena Dourou fire the starting pistol at the ancient site in Marathon, eastern Attica, early on Sunday morning, marking the beginning of the 42km race, the classic course from the town of Marathon to the 1896 Panathenaic Stadium in the heart of Athens — the same route used in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Meanwhile at the Panathenian Stadium, late marathon winner Spyros Louis and Greek runner Charilaos Vasilakos were honored as symbols of tireless effort and stamina. Additionally, there was a tribute to Greece’s Rio Olympics team with a parade before the first marathon runner entered the stadium.
“Today, more than 50,000 people from over 100 countries competed against themselves participating in the Athens Marathon – The Authentic, the city’s leading athletic event. I wish them the best of luck and hope to welcome even more every year,” Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis said.
This year, the Athens Marathon included parallel events such as the awarding of Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge and Jemima Sumgong with the 2016 AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards (BMR) at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens. Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete Haile Gebrselassie, now retired, received the 2016 AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award.
Thirty-one year-old Kenyan long-distance runner and Olympic champion Sumgong was also honored as the year’s leading marathon-runner by Athens City Council.
34th “Athens Marathon. The Authentic” in pictures…
The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is a communication sponsor for the Athens Marathon – Τhe Authentic.