Running for hope across 15000 kilometres

first_imgEncouraged by the experience and support received from people all over the world, the Penny Marathon made it into its second year. Named in honour of a small dog that tried, but ultimately failed, to survive the streets of Athens, the marathon kicked off simultaneously in Greece and Australia, with over 70 runners taking on the gruelling marathon. The Australian team kicked off at 8.30am on 14 July in Bondi and ended, almost five hours later, at Olympic Stadium. The baton was then passed on to the Greek team, which started the run earlier at 5.30am to escape the ferocious summer heat. In Athens, the participants (and some four-legged participants) ran and cycled along the coast, ending at Vouliagmeni beach. “We had a parade of people cycling and running through Athens, passing landmarks like the Acropolis,” says seasoned Greek marathon runner John Spinoulas. “To be honest, I thought it was a crazy idea – two beginners running 42 kilometres in the heart of summer!” In addition to the casual Greek practice of dumping a cat or dog onto the street when the owner has a change of heart, it is just as common to come across stories of abuse and neglect, with animals chained up to a post in the middle of nowhere without food, water or shelter, or left on an apartment balcony for life. Australians that travel to Greece are unlikely to be aware of this reality. “We’ve all seen these animals while on holidays, probably even stopped to take photos, but few realise how tough it is for them to survive,” says co-organiser Pep Prodromou. In addition to raising money for animals in Greece, the Penny Marathon is a way to generate donations for Monika’s Doggie Rescue, a Sydney-based organisation that saves dogs on death row in pounds. The marathon is a joint effort by two Greek Australian sisters, Ellie and Pep Prodromou. The team is looking for more sponsors. For more information or to show your support, visit ‘The Penny Marathon’ on Facebook. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more