Almost 4,000 athletes completed the Athens Classic Marathon on Sunday, November 8. The race which has been dedicated to the pacifist Grigoris Lambrakis for the last 27 years, is not just one more international, popular race, it is the One race that offers the experience of running the original Marathon course, starting from the Marathon Town and finishing in the Panathinaikon Stadium. It is the Marathon Race that uniquely combines the past with the present; the myth with history. The Athens Classic Marathon still promotes the original values of world peace that the Olympic Games were established to promote.
The Athens Classic Marathon is the largest and most important sport event of Greece and thousands of Athenians and hundreds of international athletes, including a number of Scots, braved the adverse weather conditions to make history by running in the footsteps of the legendary messenger of Ancient Athens and the Olympic Champion Spyros Louis.
Kenyan Josephat Kipkurui was the first athlete to cross the finish line at the Panathenaic Stadium. The 23 year old runner held off strong challenges from his compatriots Edwin Kipchom and Mutuku Pius Muasa, who placed second and third respectively, to win the race in a time of 2:13:44.
While the Kenyans swept the men's race, the women's gold medal went to Japan's Akemi Ozaki who finished the 42,195 metre race in 2:39:56. Degefa Bruktayit Eshetu of Ethiopia was runner up in 2:40:32.
The rain didn't spoil the experience of the Scots participating in the historic event and Highland Hill Runner Graeme Campbell (34) finished first Scot in 67th position with a time of 2:54:54. Bellahouston Harrier Erica Christie, running in her third Marathon of the year, was the second and first female Scot to cross the finish line. The 53 year old finished 18th woman and 267th overall with a time of 3:20:01, not surprisingly, a little slower than her earlier London and Loch Ness results.
Third Scot was unattached Michael Aird, the 31 year old finishing in 326th position with a time of 3:23:41. Carnethy's Derek Paton was first male Scottish vet in Athens. The 40 year old finished fourth Scot in 801st place with a time of 3:45:25.
The race was closed by Canada's 66 year old Chuck Galvin who placed 3853rd in a time of 8:13:49.