Record number of runners gave the start of the 28th Athens Classic Marathon. 12 500 enthusiasts started at 9.o’clock the anniversary edition of the marathon which this year celebrates the 2500th anniversary of the Battle at Marathon. Runners from 88 countries from all geographical widths of the planet will run the rout Marathon – Panathinaikos stadium in Athens in perfect weather conditions of plenty of sun and calm. More than half of the marathon runners are men.
Besides traditional sports outfit ancient Greeks could be seen as the anniversary has inspired some of the participants to make a special surprise. There is much of enthusiasm which is written on the faces of marathon runners, among which there are many veterans.
Athens Classic Marathon is not the largest in the world but it is the most popular. The goal of each participant is to run the 42 km distance, to finish in other words. The distance the participants run is a symbol of a struggle in which they overcome physical fatigue and demonstrate their strong will and motivation to get to the final. They have been preparing a whole year for this test. They can use medical care or have some food or water every 5 km of the route.
More than 8000 marathon runners are involved in the 5 km and 10 km events in Athens making the total record number of 21 500 participants. Marathon runners in Greece are over 3000. Second ranks America with more than 2 250 participants. The next are Germany and England with 1 778 and 716 respectively. There will be racers from Macao, Chile, Peru, Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, Palau, but also from Iraq. Cyprus will participate with 147 runners, while Australia and New Zealand with 142 and 31 respectively.