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first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares One of the world’s toughest runs, the 245.3-kilometer (152.4 miles) from Athens to Sparta was won by German ultra-marathoner Florian Reus on Sept. 26 with a time of 23 hours, 17 minutes and 31 seconds.Reus, 31, was second the last two years, but finally tasted the win, for which he received an olive wreath and a cup of water from the Evrotas River for retracing the ancient path of Pheidippides.Finishing a surprise second was first-time competitor Dan Lawson of the United Kingdom, 42, who led most of the race but faded to a time of 23:53.32, some 36:01 behind over the lengthy course.Third in the 33rd annual Spartathlon was Denmark’s 40-year-old Kim Hansen, who was only 30 meters behind Lawson and came in 1:05 later at 23:54.37.The first woman across the line and fourth overall was 36-year-old American Katalyn Nagy in 25:07.12, the best time ever for a woman on the course.The race traces the classical route of the Athenian messenger Pheidippides who ran it in 409 B.C. in a bid seeking helping against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon, but didn’t get it.According to Greek historian Herodotus, Pheidippides arrived in Sparta “on the next day of his departure.”The Spartathlon was the brainchild of John Foden, a British RAF Wing Commander who first ran the course in 1982 in 36 hours. The first Spartathlon was organized in 1983 with 45 runners from 12 countries.Besides its grueling length, the course goes over rough terrains, through vineyards and olive groves, steep hillsides and a 1200-meter (.75 miles)ascent and descent of Mount Parthenio in the dead of night.This year, some 373 runners from 49 countries started the race but many gave up along the way.with many of the participants failing to reach the finish line.last_img read more

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