True to his word, the president of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), Paco Borao finished the Athens Marathon-The Authentic on Sunday, at the age of 68 years, running the course for the first time in his life.
The Spanish official, also the head of the Valencia Marathon organizing committee, had told Kathimerini earlier this year that despite all the difficulties that the circumstances and one of the toughest Marathons in the world created for him, he would finish the race from Marathonas to central Athens setting an example to runners the world over.
Borao was greeted at the finishing line at the Panathenaic Stadium by friends and AIMS officials who held up a banner congratulating him and reading “You did it your way!”
“Borao’s time of five hours, 15 minutes was extraordinary given not only his age but also the fact he had not run a Marathon for 22 years,” Greece’s top Marathon coach Maria Polyzou, who run alongside him, told Kathimerini.
“This is the kind of time that men 10 or 15 years younger would clock at their first attempt at the authentic course,” she added.
Polyzou, who is the Greek record holder in the Marathon, exalted the Spaniard’s effort stressing that he had always said any Marathon runner should run the authentic course at least once, and now he has fulfilled it himself, adding to the publicity of the Athens event.