Five members of Buxton and District AC travelled to Athens to take part in the 33rd running of the Athens ‘Authentic’ Marathon on 8th November.
The hilly course is regarded as one of the toughest road marathons in the world, but it is nevertheless on many runners ‘bucket list’ of races due to its role in the start of marathon running as a sport.
Following the course of the original marathon race from the first modern Olympics in 1896 and the Athens games in 2004, the route starts in the town of Marathon, rounds the tomb in memory of the soldiers who fought in the ‘Battle of Marathon’ in 490BC, before climbing up and over the hills into Athens, finishing in the spectacular Panatheniac Stadium.
Leading the Buxton contingent home was Rob White in 3:02.14. Rob finished an impressive 131st in a field of over 14,500 runners and said: “It was hard work in the heat and the long hill took it’s toll on my legs, but it was great to take part in an event steeped in such rich history.”
Next to finish was Elizabeth Nocton, who said, “I paced the race for a 4:10-4:15 finish time to take account of the hilly course and hot day, but felt strong with 11K to go, so pushed on to finish in 4:07.53, you’ve got to be happy with that.
She was 338th lady meaning she place in the top 15 per cent of female finishers.
In his second marathon of the autumn, Andrew Wearden finished in a very respectable 4:24.25.
For Richard Goff and Lucy Stephenson, Athens was their first road marathon. Richard completed the race in 4:40.26, closely followed by Lucy in 4:51.08.
Lucy’s performance was particularly impressive, as she also ran the ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ off-road marathon just seven days earlier.
Despite being a trail runner at heart (and having never ran more than 10K on the road previously), she was pleased to have completed her first road marathon.
PIC CAP: ‘Team Athens’ showing (from left to right), Richard Goff, Elizabeth Nocton, Robert White, Andrew Wearden.