Japan's Yoshihiko Ishikawa wins the Spartathlon ultra-marathon
Japanese runner Yoshihiko Ishikawa was the winner of the 36th Spartathlon, one of the most challenging and historical ultra-marathon races hosted in Greece. Ishikawa reached the finish line first early Saturday after covering non-stop 246 kilometers from Athens to Sparta in southern Greece in 22 hours, 55 minutes and 13 seconds, according to the International Association "SPARTATHLON" which organizes the event each year. The Japanese runner ranked fourth last year in his first participation in the event. Czech Radek Brunner ranked second in 23:37:15 this year, as in 2017, while Portuguese Oliveira Joao was the third runner to reach the statue of ancient Spartan King Leonidas in the center of Sparta. Hungary's Maraz Zsuzsanna won the women's race, ranking 17th in the general division. The 36th Spartathlon race started at the foot of the Acropolis hill on Friday morning and was conducted amidst adverse weather conditions this year, as a cold front with strong winds and storms is sweeping across the country this week. This year 381 runners from 51 countries and regions competed, following the footsteps of ancient Greek soldier Pheidippides from the Greek capital to the southern Peloponnese peninsula city of Sparta. In 490 BC, ahead of the battle of Marathon against the Persian forces, according to historians, the Athenian messenger who inspired the Classic Marathon was sent to Sparta to request support, making the journey on foot nonstop within two days.
posted Saturday September 29th