Scott Jurek of Seattle won Saturday's Spartathlon, a 152-mile race from Athens to Sparta that follows the route of the legendary messenger...
ATHENS, Greece — Scott Jurek of Seattle won Saturday’s Spartathlon, a 152-mile race from Athens to Sparta that follows the route of the legendary messenger Pheidippides 2,500 years ago.
Japan’s Sumie Inagaki was the top woman in the ultramarathon, featuring 260 runners from 32 countries and a winding course along highways, dirt roads and mountains.
Jurek completed the annual race in 22 hours, 52 minutes, 18 seconds and was followed by two Japanese runners — Ryoichi Sekiya in 24:14:11 and Masayuki Ohtaki in 25:19:12.
Inagaki won her division in 28:37:20 and was 10th overall.
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Jurek’s accomplishments include seven consecutive victories in the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run, from 1999 through 2005.
The Spartathlon field set out early Friday, running through rugged terrain to the finish line at the statue to ancient King Leonidas in Sparta, in the southern Peloponnese. The runners passed through vineyards, mud, olive groves and up Mount Parthenio.
“They are coming here just for the difficulties [of the course],” said Spartathlon chief organizer Panagiotis Tsiakiris, adding that usually about one-third of the runners finish.
The Spartathlon is about 5 miles short of six consecutive marathons.
To qualify for the event, participants must have finished a 62-mile race in less than 10 ½ hours, completed a 125-mile race or finished or reached a certain checkpoint in a previous Spartathlon.