At the age of 42 Kenyan John Komen came from behind to upset the favorites and win the Athens Marathon with 2:16:34. The master runner was well behind the leaders with 10k to go, but on the demanding original marathon course from Marathon to Athens Komen managed to pass fellow-Kenyan Daniel Muteti and then Felicien Muhitira of Rwanda in the closing stages before the finish in the Panathenaic Stadium. Muhitira was second in 2:16:43 while Muteti dropped back to fifth with 2:21:39. Konstantinos Gkelaouzos snatched third place in 2:19:02 with fellow-Greek Efthymios Kalaras finishing fourth in 2:19:18. "I was not sure I could win this race," said John Komen.

Greece’s Eleftheria Petroulaki produced a home win in the historic race. She took the lead early and finished with 2:45:50 in mixed weather conditions with some heavy rain showers and warm temperatures.

Italy’s Olympic Marathon Champion from Athens 2004 Stefano Baldini returned to the race and clocked a fine 2:57:07. The 48 year-old finished in 99th position in the overall rankings.

A record number of 20,000 runners entered the 37th edition of the ‘Athens Marathon. The Authentic’. Adding other running events staged on Saturday and Sunday the total number for the event was an impressive figure of 60,000 athletes.

Today, (9 November 2019) at the 13th AIMS (The Association of Marathons and Distance Races including 473 races in 124 countries  and territories) Marathon Symposium in the Greek City of Athens , under the symposium theme of ‘Technology & Mass Running Events’, it was revealed by Ms Shirley Yang of the CAA (Chinese Athletic Association) that an astonishing 340 Million Runners in just the last four years have taken part in an ‘online marathon’ event in China.

Sheng Lan Yang (Shirley Yang), Vice-Director Marketing Dept. Chinese Athletics Association in her talk on ‘Technology applications in Chinese Marathon Races’ gave a highly impressive presentation of the incredible scale of development of running in China and how technology innovation has been central to developing running opportunities for the people of China.

The scale of achievement attracting participation in traditional running events in China and the level of growth is amazing. In 1997, China had fewer than 10 marathons. By 2011 there were 39 events but just 7 years later in 2018 there were 1,581 races with 5.83 million runners taking part.

Ms Yang went on to explain about the creation of a special ‘online marathon’ initiative set up 4 years ago in conjunction with CAA and AIMS member event: The Xiamen Marathon where runners signed up to running the race in their own local location through an app called the ‘Joyrun app’.

Since that first ‘event’ 340 million people have taken part in the Joyrun app online marathons.

World Champions Lelisa Desisa and Ruth Chepngetich named Marathon Runners of the Year

This year’s World Marathon Champions Lelisa Desisa and Ruth Chepngetich have been named as Marathon Runners of the Year. The runners from Ethiopia and Kenya respectively will be honoured at the AIMS Best Marathon Runner (BMR) Gala in Athens tonight. This was announced by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), who will stage the Gala together with the Hellenic Athletics Federation, SEGAS. On Sunday the 37th edition of the "The Athens Marathon. The Authentic" will take place on the original course with a record field of 20,000 runners.

During the relevant period for the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Lelisa Desisa won the New York Marathon in November 2018. He clocked an impressive 2:05:59 on the difficult course. After a second place in Boston in April the 29 year-old Ethiopian then won the World Championships marathon gold in Doha, Qatar a month ago. “The Olympic marathon in 2020 is my dream,” said Lelisa Desisa.

Ruth Chepngetich established herself among the world’s best marathon runners with two outstanding victories: Firstly she took the Istanbul Marathon in November 2018 with 2:18:35 then became the third fastest woman ever at that time when she won in Dubai in January with 2:17:08. At the end of September the 25 year-old won the World Championships’ title in Doha in extreme weather conditions. “It is a great honour to receive this award in Athens, where the marathon was born,” said Ruth Chepngetich, who believes that “running the world record is possible.”

TV Highlights can be downloaded here:

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The Kenyan favourites Daniel Muteti and Rhonzas Kilimo have set their sights on breaking the course record in the “Athens Marathon. The Authentic” on Sunday. While the target time of 2:10:37 is no easy task on the highly demanding original marathon course, the race already has one guaranteed record: SEGAS, the Hellenic Athletics Federation and event organizers, have confirmed a record entry of 20,000 athletes who will be on the start line in the small town of Marathon on Sunday. From this coastal town their aim will be the finish line in the Panathenaic Stadium in the heart of Athens. Taking into account events held in conjunction with the marathon – including the 10km road race which will be staged on Saturday evening for the first time – as many as 60,000 runners will be in action on the weekend on the historic roads of the Greek capital.