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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-26

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Italy's Ivan Cudin wins Spartathlon 2010
  • [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Italy's Ivan Cudin wins Spartathlon 2010

    Italian ultra-distance runner Ivan Cudin won the 28th Spartathlon on Saturday, covering the 246 kilometer distance from Athens to Sparta in just over 23 hours. The race started out on Friday from the Acropolis in Athens.

    With a time of 23:03:06, Cudin topped a record turnout of 325 athletes of both genders from 32 countries, with Jan Albert Lantink of The Netherlands in second place with a time of 23:31:22 and Jan Prochaska of Germany in third with a time of 24:55:58, while the top Greek in the competition was Stergios Anastasiadis, who placed 10th overall with 29:03:14.

    The top woman was Emily Gelder of Great Britain, who placed 14th in the overall standings with 30:17:03.

    The Spartathlon is a historic ultra-distance foot race that takes place in September of every year in Greece. It is one of the most difficult and satisfying ultra distance races in the world because of its unique history and background.

    The race retraces the route of Pheidippides, whom the Athenian generals sent to Sparta to seek reinforcement for their sparse forces in order to confront the "Asian tide" (incursion), according to the historian Herodotus on the 490 BC Battle of Marathon.

    For 28 consecutive years, the Spartathlon athletes have followed the route John Foden and his team defined in 1982 when they experimented in running from Athens to Sparta. It is based on Herodotusâ description of the Athenian âImerodromouâ or messenger who arrived in Sparta the day after he departed from Athens and also on well known historical events of that time. It has, therefore, been considered the nearest route to that which Pheidippides must have followed.

    The battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., one of the most famous battles in world history, constituted a landmark and a starting point in the history of civilization. The triumph of the genius of Miltiades and the self-denial of his soldiers made the hordes of Persians flee and rescued Athens and Hellenism from the utmost danger of subjugation to the barbarian invaders. The effects of the victory at Marathon continue to influence the present. It was the first victory against the planned domination of "Asianization" over Europe and an event with momentous significance. Because of this victory, Athens was able to achieve a great deal and bequeath the benefits of its knowledge, arts and virtue to mankind.

    Briefly, Miltiadesâ messenger Pheidippides started out of Athens on the ancient Iera Odos, or "sacred road," up to Elefsis. From there he followed Skyronia Odos, a military road on the slopes of the Gerania Mountains, and travelled through Isthmia, Examilia and Ancient Corinth. He went on to Ancient Nemea, thus avoiding the Epicratea of Argos, as it wasnât in alliance with Athens, and he continued along the mountains between Argolida and Arcadia. He climbed the Parthenio Mountain (1200 meters), where he encountered the God Pan. Descending the mountain, he continued in the direction of historical Tegea, one of the locations mentioned by Herodotus in his account about Pheidippides. He proceeded south toward Sparta. Upon his arrival in Sparta, he completed 1,140 "stadia" (with one 'stadio' equalling the length of one stadium), totalling 246 kilometers.

    In 1879 the English poet Robert Browning wrote the stirring poem 'Pheidepeides'. It is said that the poem so inspired Baron Pierre de Coubertin and other founders of the modern Olympic Games that they were prompted to create a foot race of 42 km which would be named the Marathon.

    "Archons of Athens, topped by the tettix, see, I return!

    See, 'tis myself here standing alive, no spectre that speaks!

    Crowned with the myrtle, did you command me, Athens and you,

    "Run, Pheidippides, run and race, reach Sparta for aid!

    Persia has come, we are here, where is She?" Your command I obeyed,

    Ran and raced: like stubble, some field which a fire runs through,

    Was the space between city and city: two days, two nights did I burn

    Over the hills, under the dales, down pits and up peaks."

    Two and a half thousand years after that historical battle, a sports event, inseparably related to it, was born in Greece. The Spartathlon is inseparably linked with the Olympic ideals of friendship. peace, selflessness and fraternity.

    The ultra-distance runners were greeted by Spartans at the entrance to the city, while a lavish ceremony in honor of the winners was held in the center of Sparta on Saturday evening.

    (Photo ANA-MPA/A. Venetsanos)

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The economy and planned changes in higher education institutions were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "100 million euros 'disappeared' from the Special Forestry Agency Fund".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Managers and sponsors in the universities - Upsets in the Higher Education Institutions (AEI)".

    AVGHI: "Policy of 'take it all'."

    AVRIANI: "Gang of lawyers and judges grabbed 'orphaned' real estate properties from auctions".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "21 provocative political favors by 15 ministers".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The three plans for cutbacks in public sector - Civil servants' salaries and benefits once again in the vise".

    ETHNOS: "New universities with half the Schools and expulsion of 'eternal' students - Sweeping changes coming in framework law on higher education institutions".

    KATHIMERINI: "Kudos abroad, worry at home - Ministers concerned on whether the negative stance of the markets will be reversed".

    LOGOS: "Pandora's Box will open on November 15 (the day after the second round of the municipal elections)".

    NIKI: "Banks emptying of deposits".

    PARON: "Resounding upsets - Samaras (main opposition New Democracy leader) the winner (over prime minister George Papandreou) in the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) showdown, with score of 42.4-28.2".

    RealNews: "Unemployed...Ministers - They're looking for offices and duties".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The only response is struggle and votes for the Popular Rally (Communist Party-backed ticket in the municipal elections)".

    TO VIMA: "We were all corrupt - Find me one minister who did not appoint (persons in the public sector) - 'Explosive' interview with Pangalos (government vice-president)".

    VRADYNI: "Pensions: All the answers - The huge upsets as of January 1".

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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