Runners from 21 nations as far afield as USA and Australia, plus a large contingent of ex-pats and visitors from UK competed in warm, sunny conditions in the 23rd Aphrodite Half Marathon and 5k in Paphos, Cyprus on Sunday (27 November). Local athletes took the major prizes but top UK veterans David Dowd and David Wintle were among the age group winners.
Paphos is close to the legendary birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite and a popular and easy to reach resort for UK travellers. The races are well supported by the Cyprus Tourist Organisation and enjoy free post race refreshments by Keo Brewery and High 5 sports drinks.
Aphrodite Half Marathon winners were George Tofi (Cyprus, 1:20:07) and Dagmara Handzlick (Poland, 1:21:49) who took the women's trophy in a superb fifth overall. David Dowd was the M65 winner (1:34:05) and David Wintle (1:34:13) was just behind for the M60 trophy, with both finishing in top-40 places.
Former winner, Michael Keenan (1:28:14) - third in the Limassol Marathon in March (2:44:32) - was second M40 finisher on a recovery run having recently returned from the Athens Marathon. There were 277 finishers in 2:54:35, well inside the three hour race limit.
The main race was supported by a 5k won by Cypriots Avramis Abraham (16:59) and Natalia Demosthenous (20:46) with run ABC's roving reporter Alan Newman between them (11th, 20:21).
Having more fun than most in the Fun Run - because he had more time to admire the superb coastal views - was quadruple Masters World Champion and former 2:21:38 marathoner Arthur Walsham (Salford Harriers) who recorded 45:58 - aged 86! There were 150 runners home in 62:58.
Next year's races are on 26 November and full details are on the event website.