The favorable weather conditions and the perfect organization of the 32nd Athens Marathon – the Authentic, brought the best out of Felix Kandie who registered a new record in the authentic course from Marathonas to Athens on Sunday morning.
The Kenyan clocked two hours, 10 minutes and 36 seconds to beat the previous record by 19 seconds and win the prestigious gold medal at the race’s birthplace.
The previous record along the course had been set in the Athens 2004 Olympics by Italy’s Stefano Baldini.
Running in mild weather with a glorious sunshine, Kandie beat the previous race-record-holder Raymond Bett to second by almost two minutes, with Kiptanui Chobei in third and last year’s winner Hillary Yego in fourth.
“This is my first time in this race and I had aimed at a top-three finish. I am ever so happy to have won! The atmosphere here with the fans is so welcoming,” said Kandie, his head covered with a laurel wreath.
Christoforos Merousis from the island of Chios, was the first among the Greeks to win the national championship, for a second year in a row.
Naomi Maiyo was the first among women reaching the finishing line at the Panathenaic Stadium after two hours 41 minutes and five seconds.
The wonderful picture of many thousands of fans at the Panathenaic Stadium, along with the tens of thousands who lined up the course along the 42 kilometers added to the ever-rising profile of the race that as of this year is named “Authentic” to remind everyone where this wonderful sporting event traces its root at.
“This is an opportunity for people from the world over to get to visit Athens in November, with visiting rates already on the rise. There are tens of thousands of people who have arrived for the event and every year their number grows. More and more top Marathon runners visit Athens to run the Authentic course following the promotion we have done around the world,” said Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni who attended the finishing of the race.