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Scott Jurek wins Spartathlon Ultra in Greece!!


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this is so freaking cool....





Seattle's Jurek Wins Spartathlon Ultra in Greece

(10-5-06) From Running USA Wire 77 - First American Man to Be Race Champion, By Dan Brannen



This past weekend in Greece, Scott Jurek, 33, of Seattle, Washington, 7-time winner of the Western States 100 Mile Mountain Race and two-time winner of the Badwater 136 mile race from Death Valley to the base of Mount Whitney, has become the first American man ever to win the Spartathlon.


The Spartathlon is run annually from Athens to Sparta in Greece. It was founded in 1983 by a group of London-based Englishmen (hence the name: SPART - for Sparta, ATH - for Athens, and LON - for London) to commemorate the historic run of the Greek messenger Pheidippides in 490 B.C. The Greek general Miltiades, anticipating an attack by the Persians north of Athens, sent Pheidippides to run the 245 kilometers (a bit over 150 miles) from Athens to Sparta to request military assistance from King Leonidas of Sparta in fending off the Persians. The Spartans declined, and Pheidippides then had to return by foot with the bad news. The Athenians prevailed anyway.


The 245K commemorative race has attracted many of the world's top long-range ultradistance runners. The inaugural race in 1983 marked the debut of an unknown local Greek runner named Yiannis Kouros, who won by over three hours. In the subsequent quarter-century, Kouros has proven himself to be the greatest long-range ultradistance runner in history, setting and re-setting world records from 24 hours thru 6 days and from 200K thru 1,000 miles. The race is usually run in hot daytime conditions and includes some gravel and trail sections in what is otherwise mostly a road race. It climbs some 3,000 feet over the Sangas Mountains more than halfway thru the course.


Until this year, only 6 men had broken 24 hours in the race, and only one, Kouros (whose course record is 20:25) had broken 23 hours. This year, Jurek dueled with two-time World 24 Hour Run champion (and former Spartathlon winner) Ryoichi Sekiya of Japan before pulling clear just past 100 miles. He then held on, alone, for one of the strongest finishing stretches in race history to win in 22 hours, 52 minutes, 18 seconds, becoming #2 behind only Kouros on the all-time course performance list. Previously, the best finish by a U.S. man had been Roy Pirrung's third place 27:56 in 1992. At that time, Pirrung was the U.S. 24 Hour Run record holder.


Mary Hanudel-Larsson, then of Toledo, Ohio, was the first American to win the women's division of the race, taking top distaff honors in 1984, then three more times, culminating in a women's course record of 28:46:58 in 1998. Remarkably, Hanudel-Larsson, who now lives in Sweden, finished third among women this year in 31:41:56, twenty-two years after her first victory, as reigning World 24 Hour Run champion Sumie Inagaki won in 28:37:20.


24th Spartathlon 245.3K

Athens-to-Sparta, Greece, Fri-Sat, Sept 29-30, 2006



1) Scott Jurek, USA/WA, 22:52:18

2) Ryoichi Sekiya, JPN, 24:14:11

3) Masayuki Ohtaki, JPN, 25:19:12



1) Sumie Inagaki, JPN, 28:37:20

2) Takako Furuyama, JPN, 31:40:31

3) Mary Hanudel-Larsson, USA, 31:41:56

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Thats one crazy race...I'm suprised he can do more than 1 of these a year and win by over an hour or more in most of them...I doubt the other guys that finish in the top 5 can do as many as he does

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Yep, he's truly amazing. From what I've heard from my ultra running friends, he's also a really really nice guy. He doesn't brag about his wins, sticks around at the finish line after winning to cheer on the mid-packers. Very cool. I hope to meet him at a race someday.

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