Photographer's Note

This year is my fifth year volunteering for this Classic and amazing event.

The picture is from the 26th Athens Classic Marathon that is held annually to commemorate the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. The historical accuracy of this legend is in doubt, contradicted by accounts given by Herodotus, in particular.

This photo is depicting a huge number of runners arriving to get their souvenir medals after finishing the 5km race that is also held at the same date with the Marathon race alongside with the 10km race.

The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 800 marathons are contested throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes. Larger marathons can have tens of thousands of participants.

The Athens Classic Marathon is an annual marathon road race held in Athens, Greece. It was established in 1983 and has been run annually since.

The marathon is dedicated to the memory of Gregoris Lambrakis, an athlete, a scientist and Member of Greek Parliament, who was murdered in the 1960s and has since become a symbol for human rights.

The Athens Classic Marathon is one of the toughest courses in the world, but this year Paul Lekuraa, a Kenyan from the Masai Mara shrugged of fatigue, a splitting headache, a late arrival prior to the race, and the close attentions of colleague Julius Kiprotich, to break the race record by nearly two minutes. Mai Tagami of Japan won the womenís race. In an enthralling finish in the Panathenaiko, the marble stadium built for the 1896 Olympics, Lekuraa, a 35-year-old in only his second marathon, out-sprinted his rival, to win in 2:12:42, with Kiprotich given the same time. They beat last yearís race record time, by another Kenyan Kiprotich, Benjamin, by one minute, 58sec. Paul Kogo, another compatriot entered the stadium at the climax of their mano a mano, and finished third in 2:12:49.

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Additional Photos by Stella Leivadi (stelli) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 92 N: 420] (3009)
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