Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreeceAthens Marathon: Three Greeks the Top Winners

Athens Marathon: Three Greeks the Top Winners

Athens Marathon start line thousands of people
Athens Marathon: Three Greeks the Top Winners. credit: Athens Marathon / Facebook

The 39th Athens Marathon The Authentic that took place this past Saturday had its own Greek heroes to celebrate. Three in particular stood out during the races.

The first was noteworthy for being the fastest Greek. The second for being only a minute and one second behind, making him the runner-up for the claim as the Greek athlete quickest on his feet. The third is especially remarkable for being the fastest Greek woman.

Every November, thousands of athletes from all over the world come to compete in Athens. The three fastest runners are athletes who are each at the top in the sport and therefore had nothing to prove, yet still managed to exceed themselves.

Charalampos Pitsolis wins the Athens Marathon

The man who was the fastest this year is Charalampos Pitsolis, coming in at 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 44 seconds. That broke not only his own record but also that of his countryman, Konstantinos Gkelaouzos.

Nikos Polias still holds the record for his time at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Polias finished in 2 hours, 17 minutes, and 56 seconds, which allowed him to hold the honor of having the best time for the last eight years. He has, in fact, yet to be beat by another Greek.

Konstantinos Gkelaouzos: the runner up

The 31 year-old Greek long-distance runner, Kostantions Gkelaouzos, placed 2nd and has already made history last year when he finished the Athens Marathon in 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 45 seconds.

On November 20, 1990, Gkelaouzos was born in Amfissa, a town in Phocis that is part of the municipality of Delphi.

He has been both national champion and national indoor champion three times since the beginning of his professional career. The shining star of Greek athletics stands at position 493 in the men’s marathon.

In 2022, he came in at 1:09:04 at the half-marathon in Roses and 2:14:15 in the full marathon in Berlin.

Vasiliki Konstantinopoulou

There is a heart-warming story behind the 26-year-old Konstantinoupoulou. The runner finished 1st among women and 44th overall in the 2022 Athens Authentic Marathon.

Konstantinopoulou of APK Neapolis was the first to race past after 2 hours, 46 minutes, and one second. That is a performance set to make her one of the top twenty athletes in the history of the Athens Marathon course.

What makes that achievement even more extraordinary is the fact that doctors diagnosed her with medullary carcinoma of the thyroid two years ago. MTC, also called medullary thyroid carcinoma, occurs when the body’s C-cells are infected with cancer. However, she has triumphed over both the disease and her competitors.

Greek origins of the marathon

There is history behind the event that attracts the best runners annually. In many ways, whether they know it or not, they are retracing the steps of the Ancient Greek hero, Pheidippides, a foot-soldier who raced from Marathon, Greece to Athens on a very important, historically noteworthy mission.

Pheidippides ran forty kilometers (twenty-five miles) in two days carrying the news of Greece’s victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. That announcement was his last.

According to Herodotus, known as the Father of History, Pheidippides did a much more extraordinary feat. He had run from Marathon to Sparta and back – a distance of over 300 miles- to seek Spartan help in defeating the invading Persians.

Much later, in the 2nd century A.D., Lucian of Samosata, a Hellenized Syrian satirist, rhetorician, and pamphleteer who wrote in Ancient Greece, penned the following in A Slip of the Tongue in Greeting:

…Philippides, the one who acted as messenger, is said to have used it first in our sense when he brought the news of victory from Marathon and addressed the magistrates in session when they were anxious how the battle had ended; “Joy to you, we’ve won” he said, and there and then he died, breathing his last breath with the words “Joy to you.”

The great poet Robert Browning, also honored him in the poem “Pheidippides.”

So, when Persia was dust, all cried, “To Acropolis!
Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due!
Athens is saved, thank Pan, go shout!” He flung down his shield
ran like fire once more: And the space ‘twixt the fennel-field
and Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through,
’till in he broke: “Rejoice, we conquer!” Like wine through clay,
joy in his blood bursting his heart – the bliss!

The marathon we know so well today was the manner in which his Greek compatriots past and present sought to pay homage to him for the noble sacrifice he made.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts