×

• Kenyans target landmark breakthrough of sub 2:10 on historic course

Article source:


No marathon runner has ever broken 2:10 on the historic course in Athens. 

This is the target which the elite men have set themselves on Sunday for the 34th edition of the "Athens Marathon. The Authentic.“ A group of leading Kenyan runners with Luka Rotich at their head, are planning a race tempo to achieve exactly that. But while international results these days frequently feature times of under 2:05 on the fastest courses, Athens presents a course like no other.

Whoever runs in Athens follows historic footsteps. A record entry of 17,500 runners from 105 countries will compete the same tough course which produced the first marathon winner of the Modern Olympic era 120 years ago. It begins from the small coastal town of Marathon and follows the rise and fall of almost 250 metres before the final descent towards the finish in Athens' Panathinaic stadium. In 1896 the Greek Spiridon Louis won ahead of his compatriot Charilaros Vasilakos. On Sunday descendants of both those Greek marathon heroes will be in the Panathinaic stadium to join in celebrating the 120 years since their achievements. Another great name in Greek athletics will be remembered: the triumph of Stylianos Kyriakides, who won the Boston Marathon in 1946. His victory is among the most memorable successes in Greek athletics.

A record total of around 50,000 runners are expected to be on the road in Athens on Sunday, taking into account those participating in the 5 and 10km events in addition to the marathon. "We have the authentic marathon course," reflected Kostas Panagopoulos, president of the Greek Athletics Federation (SEGAS), the organisers of the event, on this record entry. "We want to develop the Athens Marathon not only in terms of the mass but also regarding the elite. That's why our goal is to attack the course record. It is hard on this course but we shall keep on trying and hope that, gradually, we can continue to raise the standard of the runners we recruit for the "Athens Marathon. The Authentic." In the continuing tough economic situation, this is only possible because all our sponsors have continued to support us. We are very thankful for that and it gives us confidence for the future.“

Luka Rotich is here with the aim of running under 2:10," announced Rachid Bin Meziane, the elite race co-ordinator in Athens, during Thursday's press conference. The Kenyan has a best time of 2:08:12, set in finishing second in Ottawa in 2013 and will bear bib number 1 on Sunday. The course record of 2:10:55, set by the Italian Stefano Baldini in winning the Olympic title in 2004, was broken by the Kenyan Felix Kandie with his 2:10:37. "Since then Felix has run 2:06:25 - the difference reflects how tough is the Athens course," explained Rachid Bin Meziane. "I shall try to break the course record - that is my goal. I have trained in the hills to be prepared for Athens," said Luka Rotich who is one of four Kenyans who have personal bests of under 2:10. Augustine Rono is the fastest man on the start list with his 2:07:23 from Hamburg in 2012. Silas Limo ran 2:08:54 for second place in Australia's Gold Coast Marathon in 2015. This year Limo defied windy conditions to finish fourth in Vienna in 2:10:16. Duncan Kwemboi's best is 2:08:34, set in finishing third at the Serengeti Marathon in Tanzania in 2014. Another who should be among the favourites is the 2013 Athens champion, Hillary Yego of Kenya, who triumphed three years ago in 2:13:50.

Penina Wanjiru has never run a marathon on such a hilly course as this one in Athens. The Kenyan won the Brighton Marathon on the English south coast in 2:34:25 in 2015. She will start as one of the favourites: "I have trained well and that makes me confident although I have never run a course like this," said Wanjiru. Among her rivals should be fellow Kenyans Gladys Kwambai (2:36:16) and Purity Kimetto (2:37:20). Others to be taken into account are the debutant Nancy Arusei of Kenya and Algeria's Kenza Dahmani. The latter has a best of 2:33:53. Her last marathon also had links with Athens and its Olympic history, since Dahmani ran 2:38:37 to finish 50th in Rio's Olympic Marathon in August.

Further information can be found at: www.athensauthenticmarathon.gr
Photo credit: SEGAS-AMA




Latest Videos
» New Balance Indoor Grand Prix - Live Stream
26 January 2019 at 20:00 (UTC)
» ISTAF Indoor 2019 (Berlin, GER) - Live Stream
01 February 2019 at 17:00 (UTC)
» Combined Events Tallinn 2019 - Live Stream
02 February 2019 at 09:00 (UTC)
» Indoor Meeting - Karlsruhe - Live Stream
02 February 2019 at 18:00 (UTC)
» RIG Games 2019 - Live Stream
03 February 2019 at 10:00 (UTC)
Flash News
Russian doping: Wada will gain access to Moscow laboratory data

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) says it is "another step closer" to gaining full access to the former Moscow anti-doping laboratory. A team of five experts will travel to Russia on Monday to retrieve the data.

December 16, 2018 Read More on: BBC Sports

Team Europe announced for Simplyhealth Great Stirling XCountry

Seven individual medallists from the recent SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg have been named on Team Europe for the Simplyhealth Great Stirling XCountry, a European Athletics Cross Country Permit Meeting, on 12 January.

December 16, 2018 Read More on: European Athletics

Course Records Smashed In Shenzen, Ethiopian Double In Kolkata

Kenya’s Edwin Kipngetich Koech produced the Shenzhen Marathon’s first ever sub-2:10 performance, while Ethiopia’s Mulu Seboka improved the women’s course record by more than six minutes at the IAAF Silver Label road race on Sunday (16).

December 16, 2018 Read More on: IAAF

Past Headlines Latest Results Upcoming Events
16 Dec Cross Internacional de Venta de Baños
16 Dec Shenzhen Marathon 2018 (CHI)
16 Dec Tata Steel Kolkata 25K (2018)
16 Dec Mersin Marathon 2018 (TUR)
16 Dec Bangsaen21 Half Marathon
13 Dec Zatopek: 10 (2018)
09 Dec Zurich Maratón de Malaga 2018
09 Dec European Cross Country Championships,
09 Dec Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
08 Dec Foot Locker National Championships 2018
07 Dec Abu Dhabi Marathon 2018
02 Dec California International Marathon 2018
02 Dec Valencia Marathon 2018
30 Dec Corrida Internationale de Houilles (FRA)
06 Jan 62° Campaccio-International Cross
12 Jan Great Stirling Cross Cross Country 2019
13 Jan Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza,
19 Jan Northern Ireland International Cross
20 Jan Cross Internacional de Italica, Sevilla
26 Jan New Balance Indoor Grand Prix
27 Jan 87th Cinque Mulini, San Vittore Olona
27 Jan Meeting de Paris Indoor
01 Feb ISTAF Indoor 2019 (Berlin, GER)
01 Feb Meeting de l'Eure
02 Feb Indoor Meeting - Karlsruhe
02 Feb Combined Events Tallinn 2019
03 Dec Lavillenie, Spanovic, Lückenkemper for ...
03 Dec RunCzech celebrating the end of its ...
02 Dec Results: Fukuoka International Marathon ...
02 Dec Results: Valencia Marathon 2018 ...
02 Dec Dido and Gebreselassie Smash Records in ...
30 Nov Road and Cross Country Action This Weekend ...
25 Nov Results: Asics Firenze Marathon 2018 ...
25 Nov Salpeter Smashes Firenze Marathon Course ...
18 Nov Ethiopians Tura and Melese Prevail in ...
17 Nov Results: NCAA D1 Cross Country ...
16 Nov Top road and cross country action this ...
13 Nov Best VPN to Watch Live Sports Free ...
12 Nov Bright Future beckons for resurgent Athens ...
Watch Athletics
©2018 WATCHATHLETICS.COM. All rights reserved.