Added by James Morley on October 21, 2010
Thursday, Greek Culture and Tourism Minister, Pavlos Geroulanos, greeted 50 year-old Juergen Mennel upon his arrival at the Panathenaic stadium in Athens. Mennel had run 2.200 KMs from Heilbronn, Germany to Athens in 30 days, in order to mark the 2.500th anniversary of the battle of Marathon.
“It was a great feeling to finally get to the great stadium. I am very honored by the reception and just happy to have arrived”, said Mennel.
“It was getting a bit much with all the media attention during the run but I’m very proud. The training was incredibly difficult. There were days when I thought that I would have to stop because I’m not a machine but I was prepared mentally and kept going”, Mennel added.
Juergen Mennel initially planned to make the journey in 27 days but ended it 3 days passed the deadline.
In August, Maria Polyzou, Greek marathon record holder, became the first woman to complete a 520 KM run from Athens to Sparta in an effort to pay tribute to the Athenian soldier who, legend says, had run the distance to request help from the Spartans.
The 2010 Athens Classic Marathon has attracted 12.500 athletes, surpassing last year when 4.000 attended.