Idomeneas, a robust 65-year-old Cretan, first made an impression when he passed director Eliana Abravanel on the Athens Authentic Marathon course wearing a full suit of armor and no shoes. Idomeneas started running barefoot in 2006, after he woke up from a 22-day coma, right when his family had emptied out his apartment and ordered his casket. The only reason he survived is because nobody wanted to take responsibility for pulling the plug. Idomeneas shuns competition and only takes part in one footrace every year, the Athens Authentic Marathon. His armor is a nod to the selfless discipline of Ancient Greece and he’s a paradigm of simplicity, teaching everyone around him to always expect the unexpected.
Stelios is an old savant. At 85 he’s the oldest Greek athlete to take part in the Athens Authentic Marathon and his approach to long-distance running is completely transcendental. The older he gets the more races he runs, as if he’s rehearsing for his grand exit. Somewhere inside his head he has already conquered that final frontier and is running full speed ahead towards eternal freedom. He’s a gentle, thoughtful man, who’s likely to convince you that marathon running is the closest thing to immortality without even trying.
Andonis had his 15 minutes of fame when a local TV station discovered his unlikely penchant for long distance running. At 69, he and his wife Thodora live in a rural community, where people only run when chased. He’s an old-school shepherd who can recite the names of each and every one of his sheep and only discovered his talent for long-distance running when he accidentally outran a wolf who had seized one of his younglings. The people in his village think he’s soft in the head, but he thinks nothing of hitchhiking his way to the nearest race on a whim. If there’s one lesson to be learned here, it’s staying true to yourself against all odds.