The 30th Athens Classic Marathon turned out to be as memorable as the occasion merited, with the race seeing a record turnout and welcoming a new event record in the men's field. Raymond Kimutai Bett, who tasted victory in Athens in 2010, returned to secure first place with a time of 2:11:35.
In a sunny day in the Greek capital, more than 26,000 runners took part in the marathon, 10k and 5k road races. Bett led a Kenyan sweep of the top six places at the race. Paul Kibet Kosgei took second with 2:12:20, with Alex Sumko Kirui closely following in third place (2:12:26). The female field also saw a Kenyan victor, with Chemtai Yadaa finishing in 2:40.
The race was also a significant one for UK runner Alex Flynn, who, less than a month after finishing his Trans America Challenge, completed the memorable course in 4:36:19. Known as the 10 Million Metre Man, Alex, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease, covered 3,500 miles during his trip across the United States.
Commenting on the race, Alex said: "Marathons have become a huge part of my life's work and, of course, this is where the noble tradition of marathons began. Indeed, this race's heritage can be traced back to 490 BC.The Athens Classic Marathon is a part of my challenge to raise awareness of, and funds for the fight against, this little-understood disease, which is destined to impact a growing number of lives in the future as populations increasingly age."
The Trans American challenge and Athens marathon form part of Alex's pursuit of raising £1 million pounds for research into Parkinson's. You can support Alex by visiting his justgiving page. More information on the Athens Classic Marathon is available on the Sports Tours International website.