10 November 2012 – In a ceremony broadcast live on Greek national television on Friday evening, marathon luminaries Patrick Makau of Kenya and Rosa Mota of Portugal were honoured with awards at a Gala Dinner on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of both the Association of International Marathons (AIMS), and the Athens Classic Marathon.
World record-holder Makau, with his 2:03:38 from Berlin 2011, said: “It’s an honour for me to come and receive this award at the birthplace of the Olympic Games and the birthplace of the marathon.”
Mota, who won the first international championships marathon in history here in Athens when she won the European title in 1982, went on to become Olympic champion in Seoul 1988. She said: “The Olympics began here, the marathon began here, and my career as a marathon runner began here.”
The champion pair was also present in the town of Marathon itself on Saturday morning when, in the presence of the celebrated Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, they lit the Marathon Flame at the Bridge of Marathon, where the 30th edition of the revived race will begin at 9am on Sunday morning, and be run on the original course used for the inaugural Olympic marathon at the first Games of the modern era in 1896.
Pat Butcher for the IAAF