Athletics...and the International Popular Marathon race, covering the historic course from Marathon to Athens, in?
Athletics...and the International Popular Marathon race, covering the historic course from Marathon to Athens, in Greece, was won on Monday (9 October) by Finnish runner Matti Koljonen. Greek legend has it that the course was first run in 490 B.C. by a Greek runner bringing news of his countrymen's victory over the Persians.
SYNOPSIS: The course from Marathon to Athens covers forty-two kilometres (26 miles). More than a thousand long-distance runners from around the world converged on the village. They came from Africa, North and South America, Western and Northern Europe, and Asia to pound along the famous course.
There were some frivolous competitors, but most stuck to tradition, streaming over the hillside towards Athens. The runners ranged in age from a sixteen-year-old Norwegian, to an eighty-two-year-old from Japan, whose chance were not highly fancied.
Along the route, the usual curiosity, and encouragement.
The race ended at the Panathenian Stadium in Athens. Winner Matti Koljonen was clocked at two hours, thirty seven minutes and twenty-three seconds. And then came Heinz Kleine, of West Germany, who finished just over a minute later. and another West German, Arthur Wellman, came third.