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Greece’s Gelaouzos wins first post-pandemic Athens Marathon

Greek runner Costas Gelaouzos won the 38th Athens Marathon in 2 hours 16 minutes 49 seconds on Sunday leading a sweep of the podium places by home competitors.

The runner up, Panagiotis Bourikas, was more than five minutes behind, in 2:22:33, followed by Haralambos Pitsolis in 2:24:05

Greece’s Gloria-Tziovana Privilegio won the women’s race in 2:41:30, nearly seven minutes ahead of her closest rival. She was 23rd overall.

The race resumed this year after a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

There were 9,558 runners registered to line up at the start in the village of Marathon, less than half the record 20,041 who ran in the previous race in 2019. And there was a notable absence of elite international athletes.

Gelaouzos, 31, had finished 3rd in 2019. This time, he set a personal best for this particular race, where times are slowed by the demanding, hilly course.

Runners participate in a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) road race during the 38th Athens Marathon in Athens, Greece, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021.

The course record, 2:10:34 is held by Kenya’s Felix Kipchirchir Kandie, set in 2014. Kenyan runners have won the race 16 times since 2001.

The start of the race is near the battlefield where Athenians and their allies beat a far larger Persian army in 490 BC. Legend has it that a messenger who ran the distance to Athens to announce the victory died upon arrival.

There were also smaller distance races taking place Sunday.

Photojournalist: Angeliki Gratsia

The scheduling this year – the first after a hiatus in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic – included 5km and 10km races on Saturday and Sunday, with all three split into two running groups starting slightly apart for health safety reasons.

A total of 27,800 runners of 100 different nationalities from 83 countries were registered in both the Athens road races and the Marathon races. Of these, 81 pct were Greek nationals and 19 pct foreign ones. In addition, 82 pct reside in Greece and 18 pct came from abroad.


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