World Bulletin/News Desk
The 35th Istanbul Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label event sponsored by Vodafone this year, began at 9 a.m. (EET) on Sunday.
After the Turkish National Anthem, which was recited for the first time at the marathon, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbas launched the race after a speech in which he wished all the runners success.
Around 20,000 athletes are expected to compete in the three races of the event, formerly known as the Eurasia Marathon.
A public walk through Bosphorus will also be held, which about 100,000 people are expected to attend.
The marathon, which offers a total prize of one million USD, boasts the only course in the world involving two continents, Asia and Europe, in one race.
The main race of the event is the 42-km marathon which started 300 metres behind the Bosphorus Bridge and will finalize at an avenue in the historical Sultanahmet district.
The 15-km and 10-km races also started at 09.00 a.m.
The public walk set out at 09.30, covering a course starting from the Altunizade district on the Asian side before proceeding through the Bosphorus Bridge and ending at Dolmabahce Palace on the European side.
The marathon's guest of honour this year is Elvan Abeylegesse, the Ethiopian-born Turkish athlete, who was the former world-record holder for 5,000 m.Last Mod: 17 Kasım 2013, 11:36