Veteran Kenyan Komen wins Athens Marathon

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John Kipkorir Komen of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the 37th Athens Marathon on Sunday, Nov, 10, 2019. The 42-year-old runner finished in a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 34 seconds, beating Rwanda's Felicien Muhitira, 17 years his junior, by nine seconds. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
John Kipkorir Komen of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the 37th Athens Marathon on Sunday, Nov, 10, 2019. The 42-year-old runner finished in a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 34 seconds, beating Rwanda’s Felicien Muhitira, 17 years his junior, by nine seconds. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

Athens, Greece (AP) — John Kipkorir Komen of Kenya held on to narrowly win the 37th Athens Marathon on Sunday.

The 42-year-old runner finished in a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 34 seconds, beating Rwanda’s Felicien Muhitira, 17 years his junior, by nine seconds.

Greek runner Costas Gelaouzos finished third in 2:19:02.

Greece’s Eleftheria Petroulaki won the women’s race in 2:39:00.

In the men’s race, Kenyan runners have won the Athens Marathon, run over a hilly and demanding course, 16 times since 2001.

A record 20,041 runners lined up at the start in the village of Marathon, near the battlefield where Athenians and their allies beat a far larger Persian army in 490 BC. Legend has it that a messenger who ran the distance to Athens to announce the victory died upon arrival.