The Logicom Cyprus Marathon will welcome a record number of runners from more than 50 countries at its twentieth event in Paphos next month.
There are just eight days left to register to claim one of the remaining spots, organisers said.
More than 2,500 people are expected to descend on Paphos ahead of the marathon which will take place on Sunday March 4, 2018.
“The last few years have brought a dramatic growth in the numbers of participants at the event, said race director, Stavros Kakourides.
He said that many of the past events have averaged around 500 runners, and last year around 2,000 took part. However, this year, the twentieth event, will break all records.
“We can actually take up to 2,700 runners and we expect to be full,” he said.
Kakourides puts the huge increase mostly down to word-of-mouth recommendations from previous runners.
“Our data shows that 38 % of people hear about us this way and this is amazing for us,” he said.
Participants are given a package that includes a marathon technical t-shirt, a supreme medal, energy gels, fluid stations every 3 km (water, electrolytes, energy gels, sponges and bananas), a bus pass for the marathon weekend, chip timing, finish line entertainment, a massage and drinks.
“We are proud that we are now recognised as the best organised and friendliest running event on the island, combining breath-taking and historic scenery with traditional Mediterranean hospitality,” he said.
This year British marathon runner, 30 year old Adam ‘Tango’ Holland will participate in the marathon with the aim of claiming the top spot. Holland has competed in more than 300 marathons, winning 194, more than anyone else in the UK. He ranks in the top five in the world for marathon wins.
He said he aims to complete the course in 2 hours and 30 minutes, which would set a course record.
“I’ve never had the opportunity to participate in this marathon before and potentially, I could beat the course record” he said.
The marathon gets underway at Aphrodite’s rock, the goddesses legendary birthplace, and the first half of the course follows a mostly coastal route, before passing through a number of traditional Cypriot villages. The final stage of the course takes runners through Paphos, ahead of the finish at the historic castle in Kato Paphos, where they will be congratulated and an entertainment programme will be offered.
On the same day, there is a half-marathon, a 10km road race and a 5km fun run. The races start and finish next to Paphos castle and follow different courses.
“The most popular race is the half marathon and it covers an almost flat course and offers participants the opportunity for fast and fun times. The 10km race follows a similar course with palm trees and cheerful spectators,” said Kakourides.
Participants in the 5km fun run follow a route around the Archaeological Park, a UNESCO protected site, close to the sea.
All of the races conclude at the finish line where runners can enjoy drinks, music and entertainment.
More than 50% of the participants are from abroad, around a quarter of these – the largest number from any one country – are from the UK. The rest come from all over the world including: Israel, Germany, Poland, Russia, Belgium, France, Italy and Greece.
The Logicom Cyprus Marathon is dedicated to Paphos born Stelios Kyriakides, who won the Boston Marathon in 1946. His achievement fuelled American donations and he arrived back to war savaged Greece with 250,000 dollars and two ships full of food and medical supplies.
More information at www.logicomcyprusmarathon.com