Greek Christoforos Merousis won the 33rd Athens Marathon-The Authentic with an impressive time of two hours, 21 minutes and 22 seconds on Sunday, while Japanese Minori Hayakari won the women’s race in 2:52.06.
Merousis had been the first among the Greeks in the two previous years as well, winning the national championship in the process. Dimitris Theodorakakos was second among the men in 2:27.03 with Dimosthenis Evangelidis in third 25 seconds later.
Hayakari, a 43-year-old Japanese enthusiast of the Marathon, beat competition by the locals as she left Greek champion Ourania Rempouli in second with 2:54.32 and Magda Gazea in third with 2:55.35.
In the 10k race Costas Gelaouzos was the winner among the men for the second year in a row, with Christos Boudoulis in second, while Anastasia Karakatsani won the women’s category for a fourth consecutive year, ahead of the Czech Republic’s Moira Stevartova.
Conditions were typical of the Athens weather, with a warm and rather humid climate under the Attica sun, favoring those well versed into the environment of the authentic course.
However, this time the slashed budget to Greek sports federations meant that organizer SEGAS could not afford to invite any elite athletes as in previous years.
Still, the event drew over 43,000 runners, an all-time record for the Athens Marathon.
In a move that had little to do with the spirit of the Marathon, members of the communist-affiliated union PAME raised banners just outside the Panathenaic Stadium against the EU and NATO on the issue of migration.