Kenyans sweep Athens Marathon

ATHENS, Greece (AP) Felix Kipchirchir Kandie of Kenya won the Athens Marathon on Sunday, setting a new course record of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 37 seconds and smashing the old mark by 18 seconds.

Kandie broke away from compatriot Raymond Kimutai Bett after 35 kilometers (22 miles) to win by nearly two minutes. Bett finished in 2:12:34.

Josphat Kiptanui Chobei came in third in 2:15:38, 13 seconds ahead of fellow Kenyan Julius Kiplagat Korir.

The previous course record of 2:10:55 was set at the 2004 Athens Olympics by Italy’s Stefano Baldini who overturned British runner Bill Adcocks’ longstanding mark of 2:11:07 in 1969.

The Kenyans also captured the top three spots in the women’s race. Naomi Jepkogei Maiyo won in 2:41:06, 23 seconds ahead of Nancy Joan Rotich.

Nearly 10,000 runners, a record, took part in the Marathon. The race retraces the route an Athenian messenger took in 490 BC to bring his fellow citizens news of the victory in the Battle of Marathon against the invading Persians.