Debut for Noah Bor
Pat Butcher for Athens Marathon
4 November 2001 - Athens, Greece - Noah Bor had a dream debut at the marathon on Sunday, when he won the Athens Classic on the original course from the village of Marathon to Athens. Originally intended as the pacemaker for his more experienced colleagues, the 27 year old Kenyan repeated the surprise of the recent Berlin and Chicago marathons, also won by Kenyan ‘rabbits’.
”I didn’t expect to win, I thought the others would be too strong, but when they weren’t coming at me after halfway, I decided to go,” said Bor, whose elder brother Simon is a 2.08 performer.
Frederick Cheruyiot was understandably less ecstatic in second place. “I thought he was supposed to drop out at 30k,” said Bor’s compatriot. “I was feeling strong, but I couldn’t catch him at the end”.
Less of a dream was the weather. The event is being upgraded in the run-up to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, but someone forgot to placate the weather gods. The first rain in the Athens area for seven months was torrential at times, and along with the strong winds, kept the winner’s time down to two hours, 19 minutes, 26 seconds, half a minute ahead of his colleagues, Cheruyiot and Elias Chebet.
The irony wasn’t lost on Sonja Krolik-Oberem, who won the women’s race in 2.36.15. Fifth in the recent world championships in Edmonton, having set a personal best of 2.26.13 this year, the German had said earlier this week that she had come to Athens looking for warm weather. After a rain-lashing on an already tough course, in eight degrees centigrade, she said, “Those are the hardest conditions I’ve ever experienced. It was hell out there”.
Nevertheless, this is one of the preparations for the Olympics that is going to plan. The entry doubled this year, with over half of the 1600 runners coming from abroad, the largest number (227) from the USA, a measure of the lure of the race’s history, considering New York was on the same day.
place bib name country time prize(USD)
1 148 Noah BOR Kenya 2.19.26 $5000
2 156 Frederick CHERUIYOT Kenya 2.19.52 $4000
3 153 Elias CHEBET Kenya 2.19.59 $3000
4 157 Hideaki NUMAJIRI Japan 2.20.03 $2000
5 154 Josephat CHEMJOR Kenya 2.20.29 $1000
6 155 Onesmus MUTISYA Kenya 2.21.58 $ 500
7 1 Nikos POLIAS Greece 2.23.58
8 150 Julius RUTTO Kenya 2.24.44
9 122 Gerasimos KOKOTOS Greece 2.32.16
10 76 Panagiotis IOANNIDIS Greece 2.32.35
1 351 Sonja KROLIK-OBEREM Germany 2.36.15 $5000
2 353 Albina IVANOVA Russia 2.40.18 $4000
3 354 Svetlana PONOMARENKO Russia 2.46.58 $3000
4 251 Giorgia ABATZIDOU Greece 2.48.37 $2000
5 1624 Kumiko FUKOZAWA Japan 2.53.32 $1000
Debut for Noah Bor