ATHENS http://www.nbacavaliersprostore.com/kids-tristan-thompson-cavaliers-jersey/ , March 20 (Xinhua) -- For the fifth consecutive year, the Athens Half Marathon was held in the Greek capital on Sunday with a record number of participants from Greece and abroad, marking the beginning of spring and the start of the tourism season.
More than 18,000 runners took to the streets of central Athens for the Half Marathon race and parallel racing events co-organized by the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS) and the Municipality of Athens.
On the first day of the spring and under a clear sky http://www.nbacavaliersprostore.com/kids-terrell-brandon-cavaliers-jersey/ , athletes, family members, friends, children and pensioners seized the opportunity to run along some of the most historic sites of Athens in the 20 km course http://www.nbacavaliersprostore.com/kids-shaquille-o-neal-cavaliers-jersey/ , shorter distance races as well as a one km race especially designed for people with disabilities and Special Olympics athletes.
Starting from Syntagma Square, in front of the Greek Parliament, runners gathered up and passed in front of monuments like the Panathenaic Stadium which staged the 1896 Olympic Games.
"We want the Athens Half Marathon to become an ambassador of our city to highlight its aspects and enhance tourism," Christos Tentomas http://www.nbacavaliersprostore.com/kids-rodney-hood-cavaliers-jersey/ , President of the City of Athens Organization of Culture, Sports and Youth, highlighted during a press conference.
Costas Gelaouzos was the big winner of this year's race with 1:08':35''. He was followed by Christoforos Meroussis with 1:09':27'' and Costas Poulios with 1:09':34".
First in women finished Ourania Rempouli with 1:16':57'' time, followed by Anastasia Karakatsani with 1:17':23" and Magda Gazea with 1:18':54".
In light of the economic hardships of recent years http://www.nbacavaliersprostore.com/kids-lebron-james-cavaliers-jersey/ , running has proved an enduringly popular activity in Greece, helping people to forget about problems for a while and lead a lifestyle that will boost their health and confidence to overcome any obstacles, organizers and participants told Xinhua.
"Amidst the tough times our country is going through since 2009, it is important to find ways out of misery. With such events we have the opportunity to exercise and have some fun time with friends http://www.nbacavaliersprostore.com/kids-larry-nance-jr-cavaliers-jersey/ ," George Doudesis told Xinhua after finishing the 5 km course with his co-workers for a second consecutive year.
Maria Tsombanaki who took part for the first time in the same race, was very excited as well.
"We just saw it as a good opportunity to go out and run, try something new and use it as something to look forward to throughout winter," she said.
In the first four years the event was held in May http://www.nbacavaliersprostore.com/kids-kyrie-irving-cavaliers-jersey/ , but organizers decided to move it earlier this spring to coincide with the holidays season ahead of the Catholic Easter and the spring break of universities in Western Europe in a bid to attract more foreign visitors and much needed tourism revenues for the Greek economy.
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