ATHENS, Greece (AP) — John Kipkorir Komen of Kenya held on to narrowly win the 37th Athens Marathon on Sunday. The 42-year-old runner finished in a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 34 seconds, beating Rwanda's Felicien Muhitira, 17 years his junior, by nine seconds.
Greek runner Costas Gelaouzos finished third in 2:19:02. Greece's Eleftheria Petroulaki won the women's race in 2:39:00. In the men's race, Kenyan runners have won the Athens Marathon, run over a hilly and demanding course, 16 times since 2001.
A record 20,041 runners lined up at the start in the village of Marathon, near the battlefield where Athenians and their allies beat a far larger Persian army in 490 BC. Legend has it that a messenger who ran the distance to Athens to announce the victory died upon arrival.