- Title: GREECE: ROLAND VUILLEMENOT OF FRANCE WINS SPARTATHLON 24 HOUR ENDURANCE RACE
- Date: 28th September 1996
- Summary: SPARTA, GREECE (SEPTEMBER 28, 1996) 1. CITY OF SPARTA 2. ROLAND VUILLEMENOT RUNNING ON ROAD 3. VUILLEMENOT REACHING TOWN WITH POLICE ESCORT 4. STATUE OF LEONIDAS IN SPARTA 5. VUILLEMENOT FINISHES RACE 6. CROWDS CLAPPING 7. MAYOR PLACES LAUREL ON HIS HEAD 8. PEOPLE CHEER 9. VUILLEMENOT ESCORTED TO AMBULANCE 10. VUILLEMENOT COMMENTING ON THE RACE. (FRENCH) 11. SECOND RUNNER, AMERICAN NOBUAKI KOYAGO, FINISHING AND EMBRACING STATUE 12. MAYOR CROWNS KOYAGO 13. KOYAGO SPEAKING BREATHLESSLY "IT WAS VERY TOUGH. THIS WAS MY FIRST ATTEMPT" (ENGLISH). 14. THIRD RUNNER SLOVENIAN DUSAN MRAVLJE FINISHING RACE AND BEING CROWNED 15. STATUE OF LEONIDAS Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 13th October 1996 13:00
- Location: SPARTA, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Reuters ID: LVA580II28TPOYF9W821YG3IPLH8
- Story Text: Roland Vuillemenot of France won the Spartathlon 24-hour endurance race in Greece on Saturday (Sept 24).
Vuillemenot finished the 246km race from Athens to Sparta in a time of 26 hours 21 minutes, unable to beat last year's time of 25:59 by two time winner Briton James Zarei, who did not participate this year.
In second place was Nobuaki Koyago of the United States with a time of 27.41 and third was Slovenia's Dusan Mravlje who finished with 27.55.
Vuillemenot reached the finish line at the statue of Leonidas, ancient king of Sparta, in the city's centre where he was crowned with an olive wreath.
Runners faced difficult conditions this year with heavy rain and cold winds. They do not stop to eat or drink but are allowed refreshments along the difficult route of winding roads and rocky paths.
Some 167 athletes from 28 countries including Japan and the United States participated in Spartathlon this year, which began in Athens on Friday (September 27).
This year saw the increased participation of women in the race with a total of 25 female runners, seven more than last year.
The race originated from the historical run of Pheidippides, a military messenger who ran from Athens to Sparta for reinforcements against the Persian invasion in the 5th century B.C.
The best time for the race is held by Greek Yannis Kouros who finished with a time of 20:25 in 1984.
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