For the second year running a Greek runner won the classic 26 mile (42 kilometre) marathon race from Marathon Village to Athens on Saturday (18 October).
For the second year running a Greek runner won the classic 26 mile (42 kilometre) marathon race from Marathon Village to Athens on Saturday (18 October). Theofanis Tsimingatos' time was two hours 35 minutes 39 seconds -- sic minutes slower than last year but still a full five minutes ahead of the next man, Alphen Pien of Holland.
More than a thousand runners -- men, women and children from all over Europe and the United States took part in the race this year. It is run over the same course taken by a Greek runner 3,000 years ago when he ran from the village of Marathon into Athens to announce the victory over the Persians. The name marathon has since been given to all similar races.
Local girls gave a folk dancing display and olive tree branches were given to every participant at the Marathon village square before the race.
Alphen Pien of Holland came second and Reiler Peter of West Germany third, but for many of the competitors the achievement was simply to finish the historic course.
SYNOPSIS: Marathon village, Greece, from where more than a thousand runners from all over Europe and the United States set off on the original marathon race from the village into Athens on Saturday. As well as the folk dancing each runner was presented with the traditional piece of olive branch. The twenty-six mile course follows the same route taken by the Greek runner who brought the news of the victory over the Persians three thousand years ago. the name marathon has since been given to all races of similar length.
For the children and some of the older competitors the aim was simply to finish the historic course but those trying to win soon found there were plenty of top athletes around as well.
These two are Dutchmen with a Swiss competitor just behind -- doing their best but miles behind the eventual winner Greek Thecfanis Tsimingatos.
The number of spectators increased over the later stages -- but most were in the stadium to see the finish of the strength sapping race. Tsimingatos was the winner in two hours thirty-five minutes -- an average of over ten miles an hour for twenty-six miles.
Alphen Pien of Holland finished second and West German Reiler Peter third eight minutes behind Tsimingatos who ensured the race was run by a home runner for the second year running.