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Marathon Tales

1 hour, 30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 11 August 2012

by Hannah Silva and Colin Teevan

The original Marathon runner Pheidippides finds himself racing alongside long distance athletes from mythology and more recent times. They all have powerful stories to tell.

Pheidippides ..... Alex Lanipekun
Pan ..... Kathryn Hunter
Atalanta ..... Daisy Lewis
Abebe Bikila ..... Richie Campbell
John Tarrant ..... Sam Alexander
Hippomenes ..... Harry Livingstone
Kathrine Switzer ..... Susie Riddell
Grete Waitz ..... Marit Kile
Onni Niskanen ..... Nils Bergstrand
Ella ..... Amaka Okafor
Harold Abrahams ..... Patrick Brennan
Chris Chataway ..... Joe Sims
John Disley ..... Robert Blythe
The broadcaster ..... Don Gilet
Daughter ..... Lily Teevan
Nurse ..... Christine Absolom

Marathon Tales was based on many sources including MARATHON WOMAN by Kathrine Switzer and BAREFOOT RUNNER by Paul Rambali

Director: David Hunter

MARATHON TALES brings together an interweaving set of stories about Marathons and runners over the years. Pheidippides charged with covering an immense distance to seek help from the Spartans is aided by the shepherd god Pan, and joined by an extraordinarily varied collection of athletes.

There is Abebe Bikila, the Ethiopian who won the 1960 Marathon in Rome, Atalanta, the formidable mythical figure who ran naked, John Tarrant, the "Ghost Runner" desperate to prove his amateur status and beat the privileged elite, Kathrine Switzer, the American athlete who ran the Boston Marathon when women weren't allowed in long distance competitions, and Grete Waitz the Norwegian Marathon winner who talks as fast as she runs.

On the penultimate day of the London 2012 Olympics MARATHON TALES harnesses the enthusiasm for competitive sport and sets it in an historical but dramatically imaginative context.


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