Long-distance runners...

Long-distance runners pose for photographs early yesterday morning at the foot of the Acropolis before setting off on a 256-kilometer race to Sparta, known as the Spartathlon. Some 274 athletes are taking part in the race this year, which has to be completed within 36 hours. The route retraces the steps of the messenger Pheidippides, taken some 2,500 years ago, as he was sent to Sparta to call for troop reinforcements.