The 29th Athens Classic Marathon included, as always, plenty of two-legged runners from all across the world. But this time around, a four-legged competitor was added to the mix, running at the heels of marathon runners Lloyd Godson and Alexandros Georgiou.
Bisko, short for Biskotouli, is a black-and-tan mixed-breed Hound rescued from the mountains near Athens when he was only a few weeks old. Godson and his wife adopted Bisko soon after and found that it was a match.
“It was love at first sight,” Godson told reporters of adopting Bisko.
Australian expat Godson and his wife were in the market for a dog after a big move to an Athens suburb. When they saw little Bisko, there was no question in their minds that he was the perfect pooch for them.
“My wife is a huge dog lover. We saw a sign for him on a telephone pole and we went and met him. He was adorable. I mean, look at him even now,” he gushed. “In about five minutes he was in the car coming home with us.”
According to Godson, Bisko has been an athlete from the start. “He loved running from day one,” Godson explained. “In the morning as soon as I start putting my shoes on he goes crazy. He dashes to the door and starts scratching it. He knows he’s going for a run.”
Though Bisko has successfully run 26.5 miles – marathon distance – before, the Athens Classic was his first official marathon race. “Together with my friend Alex here, who is Bisko’s ‘uncle,’ we’ve been training him for the past year,” says Godson.
The trio – man, man, and dog – finished the race in about three hours and 50 minutes. “Not bad for our first time,” Godson boasted proudly. They entered the Athens Panathinaiko Stadium to take their victory lap and were honored by the cheers of the crowd.
“He got so much love on the way,” Godson said of Bisko. “Whenever he went past, people were cheering the dog, not us.”
Godson, an animal advocate, has also taken part in a charity race that raises money to help stray dogs in Greece, citing Bisko as his inspiration for helping animals in need. “This is a dog that was found in the mountains and has become a best friend to us,” Godson said of his buddy Bisko.