Kenyan Lobuwan Luka Rotich won the 34th Athens Authentic Marathon in his debut race on the original course.

 

The 28-year-old crossed the finish line at the Panathinaikon Stadium near the centre of Athens in 2:12:49.

 

The route runs from Marathon city to Athens and was first run by the Athenian soldier Pheidippides more than 2,500 years ago.

Rotich did not manage to break the record held since 2014 by fellow Kenyan Felix Kipchirchir Kandie – but he did share his victory with two of his compatriots.

 

Fellow Kenyans Kipruto Benson and Kimtai Andrew Ben finished second and third respectively in the men's race.

 

In the women's race, Kenyan Nancy Arusei finished first, clocking 2:38:13. She was followed by Algerian Kenza Dahmani and Greek runner Rania Rempouli.

 

The Authentic Marathon is considered a tough one. Runners face a number of steep climbs from Marathon before ultimately descending to the stadium at Athens.

 

This year it attracted some 50,000 participants from 105 countries.

 

Regardless of positions and times, all runners who crossed the finish line inside the marble venue of the 1896 first modern Olympics - including those in the 10km and 5km distances - were cheered by an enthusiastic crowd.

 

13 November 2016
Greece


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Among the spectators were marathon legends such as retired Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie and the Estonian triplets Leila, Liina and Lily Luik who participated in the Rio Olympic marathon and ran the 10km race in Athens.

 

Participants were also greeted by the members of Greece's Rio Olympics team, who paraded inside the stadium as part of special celebrations the organisers staged this year to mark the 120th anniversary of the revival of the Olympics in 1896.

 

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