Japanese Man Wins the Athens – Sparta Run Amidst Rainfall (video)

Japan’s Yoshihiko Ishikawa was the winner of the 36th Spartathlon race on Saturday, running the  246 km route in 22 hours, 55 minutes and 14 seconds, according to the Athens – Macedonian News Agency.

The race finished in Sparta just as it started in Athens on Friday. Heavy rainfall made it harder for the 400 athletes to cross the mountainous and dark paths of the route.

Ishikawa reached the finish line at the statue of Leonidas shortly before 6.00 am and was applauded by hundreds of Sparta residents who, despite the bad weather and the early hour, had gathered at the finish line along with Mayor Vangelis Valiotis.

The Japanese runner, who had finished fourth in the 2017 Spartathlon, told AMNA after the finish: “From the 130th kilometer on, I raised my pace. I passed (Portuguese Joao) Oliveira and from there I only saw Sparta.”

The other two positions were taken by athletes familiar with the Spartathlon podium.  Czech Bruno Radek, who, like in 2017, took second place with 23 hours, 37 minutes, 28 seconds and Portuguese Joao Oliveira, who ranked 3rd, just like in 2017, with 24 hours, 34 minutes, 30 seconds.