A few days ago the Spartathlon was run along the historic course from Sparta to Athens in Greece. The event is considered one of the most challenging ultramarathons in the world, and it tests the endurance of everyone who enters. This years event was won, for the the third consecutive year, by Scott Jurek of the U.S., in a stunning time of 22 hours, 20 minutes, besting the next closest competitor by 2 1/2 hours. Austrian Markus Thalman took second place with a time of 24 hours, 52 minutes, and Danish runner Lars Skytte Christoffersen was third in 25 hours, 29 minutes.
The 246 km (152.8 miles) course was first designed back in 1982 as close to the description of the run of Pheidippides, as written by Herodotus. According to the story, the messenger ran from Athens to Spart to request aid against an invading arm of Persians. The Greeks met their enemies on the battlefield and defeated them and PHeidipides once again ran, from Marathon, to Athens to declare ‘We have won!’ before dropping over dead on the spot.
Fortunately, no one dropped dead during the Spartathlon, which pitted some of the top runners in the world against one another, with Jurek coming out on top once again. In addition to his three wins in Greece, Scott is also the 7-time defending champ of the Wester States 100, two time Badwater champ, and even had a Hardrock 100 championship on his resume.
Impressive stuff. Congrats to Scott and all the competitors in the Spartathlon.
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