Kenyan double as Misoi and Muriuki win Athens Marathon

Athens: Kenya’s Brimin Kipkorir Misoi won the 36th Athens Classic Marathon on Sunday clocking the 42.195 km distance in two hours, 10 minutes and 56 seconds. He missed the course record by 19 seconds set by fellow Kenyan Felix Kandie four years ago. The next two spots were taken by Ethiopians Tiruneh Workneh Tesfa in second with a time of 2:12.52 and Azmeraw Mengistu third in 2:13.20. Shelmith Muriuki made it a Kenyan double as she won the women’s race in 2:36.46. A record 18,750 runners from 105 countries took part in the marathon which began near the tumulus erected for the Greek dead from the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC and ended in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, site of the first modern Olympics in 1896.
The marathon course includes going through the small town of Mati where 99 people lost their lives in a forest fire this past summer. Many of the runners wore green headbands from the 12 to the 16 km section of the race in support of a project launched by the race organisers to regenerate the region with trees along that section of the course. Another 36,250 participated in the shorter 5 km and 10 km races in downtown Athens. According to the satirist Lucian of Samosata, writing over 600 years after the Battle of Marathon, the runner Pheidippides ran from the battlefield to Athens to announce news of a famous victory over the Persians, before dying of exhaustion. Baron de Coubertin, creator of the modern Olympics, introduced the race into the first Games in Athens when it was won by the Greek water-carrier Spiridon Louis. — AFP