149 runners from 17 countries were in Greece on Friday (6 April) for the International marathon race over the classical course from the village of Marathon to Athens.
GV Flags of competing nations
SV Competitors receive olive branches (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT Flags and line up
LV Start and runners past camera
GV Race in progress from behind following care
SV Leading runners past camera in rain
SV Signpost "Marathon"
SV Leaders past (No. 74 Colin Kirkham, G.B.) (No. 68 Kenji Kimihara, Japan)
SV Past camera Kirkham again followed by Kimihara
SV Kirkham into stadium and wins (2 shots)
SV Kimihara into stadium, second.
SV Crowds applaud
SV No. 87 Prove Hyvomen (Finland), third
SV Crowd applauds
SV Placegatters on rostrum with cups
Initials BB/2307 RW/AH/BB/2331
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 149 runners from 17 countries were in Greece on Friday (6 April) for the International marathon race over the classical course from the village of Marathon to Athens.
The race is over a distance of 26 miles 385 yards (42 Km. 195 metres) and retrace the course run by the young Athenian warrior Pheidippides 2,500 years ago when he carried news of the Greek Army's victory over the Persians.
This year the race was won by Colin Kirkham of Britain, followed by Kenji Kimihara of Japan and Paavo Hyvonen of Finland. The winner's time was 2 hours 16 minutes 45.4 seconds with Kimihara clocking 2 hours 19 minutes 9 second.
SYNOPSIS: Almost 150 runners from 17 nations were in greece this week for the classic Marathon to Athens race. The event marks Olympic Games Day and attracts a top class field.
Before the start the competitors were presented with an olive branch... a traditional custom of ancient Greece....and were blessed by a priest. But, once the race began it was just like any other marathon event...gruelling in the extreme... and on this occasion heavy rain added to the runners' discomfort.
The race is over the standard marathon distance of 26 miles 385 yards, or just over 42 kilometres... and it was here that the whole idea of marathon running began. Two thousand five hundred years age a young Athenian warrior carried home the news of the Greek army's victory over the Persians.
This year the British runner Colin Kirkham, and Kenji Kimihara of Japan raced stride for stride until just past the halfway mark...but from there Kirkham forged steadily ahead. In spite of the rain crowds of spectators lined the route, and another five thousand waited in the stadium.
At the finish line it was Kirkham, well clear of Kimihara. The winner's time being two hours 16 minutes, 45.4 seconds.
Kimihara clocked in with two hours, 19 minutes, 9 second...almost three minutes behind the british runner.
The crowd gave every runner a well deserved round of applause, and this is Finland's Paavo Hyvomen running in for third place. His time.....two hours, 19 minutes 22 seconds, Douglas Schemenh of the United States was fourth, with Kirkham's fellow Briton, Ron Hill fifth.