Edwin Kiptoo of Kenya won the 40th Athens Marathon with a time that set a course record of two hours, ten minutes, and thirty-four seconds.
Over the course of the race’s second half, the 30-year-old Edwin Kiptoo steadily pulled away from his main rivals, the majority of whom were his fellow countrymen, finishing the final 10 kilometers by himself.
About a hundred individuals in the Panathenaic stadium in Athens waved Palestinian flags and unfurled a banner that said “Free Palestine” as Kiptoo crossed the finish line. Along the way, a few people carried and waved Palestinian flags.
Rhonzai Lokitam Kilimo of Kenya finished second at 2:12:36, while Felicien Muhitira of Rwanda finished third, his late charge just missing Lokitam’s victory.
Since 2001, 17 Kenyan runners have won the race, including Felix Kandie, who in 2014 set the previous record of 2:10:37.
The women’s race was won by Soukaina Atanane of Morocco in 2:31:52, placing her 19th overall; Caroline Jepchirchir of Kenya finished second in 2:32:19, and Gloria Privileggio of Greece placed third in 2:43:20.
The course of the Athens Marathon is mountainous, with nearly continuous climbing between kilometers 17 and 32 before a majority descent. Although British runner Bill Adcocks just missed the then-record by roughly a minute and a half, in 1969, he ran 2:11:07, which is not even close to the world’s best time due to this characteristic. Up until Italy’s Stefano Baldini ran 2:10:57 at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, his time remained unaltered. The next record holder was Kandie.
The marathon begins close to the spot where, in 490 BC, Athenians and their allies defeated a much bigger Persian army. According to legend, a messenger who traveled to Athens to declare the triumph perished on his way there.
The race concludes at the Panathenaic Stadium, a reconstructed ancient arena in the shape of a U made of marble that can hold up to 80,000 spectators and served as the site of the track events of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
In the hamlet of Marathon, a record 20,322 racers registered to begin, surpassing the previous record of 20,041 established in 2019. In the first two races following the coronavirus epidemic, in 2021 and 2022, attendance had fallen by over 50%. The 2020 iteration was withdrawn.