STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Kenyan runner tops 35th Athens Marathon

CNC
Added On November 15, 2017

The Marathon was supposedly invented when 2500 years ago, a messenger ran all the way to the capital to announce the Greeks had won in battle. 
 
This weekend over 50,000 runners retraced those famous steps, on the 42 kilometer course from Marathon city to Athens. 
  
Kenyan runner Samuel Kalalei was the big winner on Sunday, covering the historic course in just 2 hours 12 minutes 17 seconds.
 
However, to the organizers of the Greek Athletics Federation, all 51,000 participants across the seven separate events were winners.
  
Times and medals were not the priority -and the crowd welcomed each finisher into the marble Panathenaic stadium.
 
The Authentic Marathon is Athens' most significant annual sports event on the calendar. 
 
It is considered mostly an opportunity to celebrate a healthier life style, friendship and sportsmanship, as well as raising public awareness for good causes.
  
Speaking after the finish line, Kalalei said the win felt good.
  
SOUNDBITE1 [06:41:10 - 06:48:00] (ENGLISH): SAMUEL KALALEI, 35th Athens Marathon winner 
"The weather was good, not bad, but it is warm...I m feeling good."
 
Kostas Gelaouzos, who ranked 8th in the general division, was the first Greek reaching the finish line on Sunday.
 
SOUNDBITE2 [06:48:01 - 06:58:22] (GREEK): KOSTAS GELAOUZOS,  Greek runner
"I wanted this victory so much. I worked hard, I did my best and eventually I managed to be the first Greek finishing the classic course this year."  
  
SOUNDBITE3 [06:58:23 - 07:00:21] (GREEK): PANAGIOTIS KARAISKOS,Greek runner
"For those working hard everything is possible."
  
Li Wei, who ranked 20th in the general division, was the first Chinese runner crossing the finish line on Sunday.
 
SOUNDBITE4 [07:00:22 - 07:18:06] (CHINESE): LI WEI, Chinese runner
"I am a runner, a marathon runner. I believe every runner should run the authentic course."
 
Approximately 18,500 runners from around the world followed the footsteps of the legendary Athenian soldier Pheidippides on the historic and tough 42 km course this year. Tens of thousands more competed in the shorter distance events.
  
Around 100,000 people were cheering for them along the course.
 
SOUNDBITE5 [07:18:07 - 07:30:00] (ENGLISH): BETTY T., Audience
"It is an experience for life I think, the athletes, the audience, all those runners... It is very nice."