Saturday, 12th May 2007… – Schinias Bay, Marathonas – Triathlon…
On this quiet and sunny morning, in the magnificient region of Schinias Bay, fifty five amateur athletes rushed in to the Moraitis Centre, in the early hours, well decided to make the best of the day. And they did not come here to play Tavli or compete on how many Frappe one can gulp down on a sunny day.
They were here for one reason : have fun! In a way which would seem foolish to most people… Let’s see the sequence of events -
At 12:30 sharp, a 55 yellow-capped bunch threw itself in the pure blue water of the sea and ran out of breath to cover the 750m loop set out by three huge red buoys sticking out of the water. This was only the first leg of the Game, and at this stage, the Frappe-Tavli greeks who were still sitting on the beach couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing. No grassroot triathlon had ever been organised in Greece before. Nikos Gerontis, first swimmer, was out of the sea in just about 10mn, heading the pack by a very impressive 1mn30 lead.
Reaching the beach only marked completion of stage one. The second part of the fun was just starting as these fully wet and out of breath crazy bunch jumped on their bicycles to complete the 20km cycle leg: out the back of Schinias Natural Park, up the mountain, by the coastal road. A beautiful sight, surely, for those with enough time to sneak a pic. But we doubt that Kostas Koumargialis and Markos Pachos, clocking a 40km/h pace, had any time to enjoy the view.
The lead these two athletes took in the bike race was enough to secure their first and second place at the overall finish. For the bike was not quite the end of the Game : there was still another 5km to cover by foot.
Abandoning their bikes in a rather disorderly manner, the pack followed the path leading to the natural pine-tree forest of Schinias bordering the sea. They discovered the joy of running on a sandy track, just to make things worse, as if they were not tired enough by now.
The race record was set by Kostas Koumargialis in 1hr05mn, with Markos Pachos on his heels at 1hr07mn, closely followed by Yannis Tsalapatis yet another 2mn behind.
The day was blessed by fantastic weather conditions, a bit on the hot side, but that’s what to expect over here.
All this was made possible thanks to Moraitis’s drive and passion for sports, which led him to allow for this event to take place at his resort. Dimitris strongly supported Marie in organizing and supervising the event, providing great focus on safety, supervision and coordination of marshall’s efforts. His resort was a haven for such a sport event: outstanding environment, shower facilities, great transition area for parking the bikes, grass and beach to relax after the race. Everything to make a great day for these tired and exhausted athletes.
The first edition of this “Schiniathlon” gathered 55 athletes, some of them already familiar to the sport, but most of them 1st-timers. Hence the only 3 girls who took part in the Games had never done any bit of training before. Their finish time is of no importance, and crossing the finish line of all three events, on their two legs, was enough of a challenge and achievement, well done ladies !
Having met such a success with all present athletes, it has been decided that End of September will see the Sequel of this one : the Autumn Schiniathlon.
Beware everybody, get ready, you will be the first ones to know when the date has been fixed.
Well done to you all and we are looking forward to welcome you again for the Autumn Version.
The Schiniathlon Organisation Team.