By Andreas Vou
THE ninth International Limassol Marathon is set to flood the town’s seaside road on Sunday with an estimated 10,000 runners expected to take part in various races.
Despite economic obstacles Limassol Municipality, the Olympia Sports Club, the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Limassol Tourist Development and Promotion Company have managed to bring to fruition the largest athletic event on the island.
The marathon has attracted a whole host of international athletes from across the globe with participants arriving from over 50 countries, including Brazil, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, USA and a number of European nations.
The same variety which will exist among the athletes can be said about the age range too, as the oldest registered runner is 76 and the youngest just six years old.
The 42-kilometre marathon will begin at 9am at the Limassol pier and will also feature five additional races – the Half-Marathon, the 10-kilometre Health Race, the 5-kilometre City Race, the PrimeTel 5-kilometre Corporate Race, and the McDonald’s 1-kilometre Kids Race.
Speaking at a press conference, organising committee chairman Spyros Spyrou brimmed with pride as he revealed his long-term aim for the marathon.
“Our goal and vision is to make the Limassol Marathon one of the most popular in Europe, a truly international event that can be embraced by the local community.”
Limassol mayor Andreas Christou also spoke of his joy at hosting the prestigious event and reiterated that the municipality will continue to support the event, which has become a symbol of the city and its beachfront.
“It is an event that honours our town, as well as our country, since it is the only marathon in Cyprus that is on the calendar of international organisations,” said the town’s mayor.
Limassol is no stranger to hosting events which sees thousands of people pass through its streets, having gained a glowing local and international reputation for its staging of the Limassol carnival. In comparison to that particular event, proceedings on Sunday will be far calmer yet the marathon also has its own unique challenges and expectations which the hosts and sponsors fight tirelessly to meet.
Over 500 marathons are said to take place throughout the world on a yearly basis and the coastal Cypriot town once again has the chance to stand out from the crowd.
An interactive map of the route has been created by the organisers here: http://www.plotaroute.com/route/45020