Nearly 50 runners from 12 countries set off on September 30 from Athens for a 250 kilometre (156 mile) race to the southern Greek city of Sparta.
ATHENS (SEPTEMBER 30):
GV & SV Athletes cross starting line and run through city (5 shots)
GV Runners followed by queue of traffic on roads (6 shots)
SPARTA (OCTOBER 1):
GV Statue of King Leonidas of Sparta
SV Belgian Noel Rogiers (No. 18) kisses statue and drinks water (2 shots)
GV Athlete touches foot at statue
GV Prize presented to winner, Yannis Kouros, of Greece (5 shots)
SPORT: SPARTATHLON RUNNING
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Background: Nearly 50 runners from 12 countries set off on September 30 from Athens for a 250 kilometre (156 mile) race to the southern Greek city of Sparta. The 47 athletes who crossed the starting line in the marble Panathenaic Stadium early in the morning were following in the footsteps of Pheidippides, an ancient Athenian diplomat-courier. He ran to Sparta in 490 B.C. seeking military aid against Persian invaders of Athens. This first modern Spartathlon was organised by a group of British businessmen in Greece and the Greek Athletics Federation, Segas. The route led from the city centre, along the coast to Corinth and through the mountainous Peloponnese to Sparta. One woman, 35-year-old Eleanor Adams from Britain, was among the competitors. Food and water stations were set up every five kilometre (3 miles) along the route, and the leaders entered Sparta early on October 1. The winner was Yannis Kouros, 27, of Greece, who cut the tape in front of a bronze statue of King Leonidas of Sparta with a time of 21 hour, 53 minutes and 40 seconds. Yugoslav Drusan Kraulse was second in 24 hours, 39 minutes, 11 seconds. In third place was Allan Fairbrother of Britain in 27 hours, 39 minutes and 13 seconds. Eleanor Adams managed to finish the race later in the day, and another competitors, Belgian Noel Rogiers, was so pleased to arrive that he kissed the statue.