1 Nov 2010

Run marks 490BC marathon in Greece

3:50 pm on 1 November 2010

More than 12,500 runners have taken part in a special marathon race in Greece to mark the 42km run in 490BC that inspired the modern event.

In that year, the Athenian army defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon.

According to legend, a messenger called Pheidippides ran the 42km to Athens to announce the victory.

Participants will run the same route as Pheidippides on Sunday - a tough course, the first 32km of which are mostly uphill.

Legend says Pheidippides collapsed and died from exhaustion and dehydration after his run.

Raymond Bett of Kenya won the men's race, Rasa Drazdaukaite of Lithuania the women's.

Despite the Greek financial crisis, some 1.5 million euros was raised for the event through sponsorship, compared with 900,000 euros last year.