215 Athletes - Christodoulopoulos & Michopoulou win the Long Distance / Psarelis & Bucoy win the Sprint Distance
Saturday 26th September
130 athletes turned up on the starting line of the Sprint Triathlon under fantastic conditions: blue sky, sunshine, temperatures in the 20s and warm and calm sea.
Most of the athletes were trying out the sport for the first time ever, and nervosity was palpable as the transition area filled with athletes.
It was an amazing sight to see the race-start, the biggest ever to happen in the country!
Leaving the novice behind, 3 athletes took the lead of the race from the start and stayed ahead of the game throughout the race.
Dimou left the water first, closely followed by Psarelis and Andreadis. Psarelis took the lead over the first transition and came out first of the transition area. The bike was a demonstration of force on the completely flat 20km route, and Psarelis and Andreadis ended up side by side, with Andreadis posting the fastest bike time of the day. Once again Psarelis made the best of his transition time and came out in a blink while Dimou and Andreadis lost precious minutes getting ready. Psarelis capitalised on the lead and ran a very fast 5km, while Dimou and Andreadis proved not able to keep up the pace of the run.
On the women’s field, the game was equally exciting. There were high expectations on Chrysothemi Spilopoulou, the winner of May’s Schiniathlon. This time around, she had to face a competitor new to Schiniathlon, the American Tara Bucoy.
The race started well for Chrysothemi, who came out of the water 3mn ahead of Tara, and managed to keep the lead throughout the bike course, posting a similar time to that of Tara. But then it was time for Tara to pull outher secret weapon, she left T2 like a flashball and went on to post the 11th best run time of the day!! This gave Tara the overall victory with a significant lead. Chrysothemi was left behind and struggled a bit on the run, closing in 2nd position 1mn30 behind the winner. Maria Kamizaki from Crete managed a 3rd place thanks to a very good swim and run. She could become a serious competitor if she manages to improve on the bike.
After the adults’ race was over, it was the turn of the Kids to line-up for a short but intense race. 18 excited kids jumped in the water at the sound of the siren, just about as focused and nervous as their parents in the morning! With great dedication and effort, they rushed back to transition area, and fought their best over the bike and run course. After less than 10mn, a bunch of panting, exhausted and happy children proudly posed for the picture, medal well exposed on the chest, and already asking for more!
The race was followed by the Expo and the Ceremony. The athletes, most of them newbies, had a chance to talk with more experienced athletes and the professional of the sport: Pulse100, FitSN, Swimming Planet, New Balance. Gifts were handed over to the athletes (by prize-draw) – the list of the winners of the lottery can be found on the schiniathlon website.
Sunday 27th September
The day opened up with winds between 5 and 6 Beaufort, wavy sea and menacing clouds… Despite these less-than-ideal conditions, 70 athletes turned-up for the event, ready to face anything to cross the finish line!
The “Boss” was on the starting line again, leaner and fitter than ever, and ready to give his best…. Which is just what he did! Christodoulopoulos owned the race 100% from start to finish, racing alone all the way. In conditions which were way more challenging than May, he still manages to close the race in 2h59mn… 18mn35 ahead of his challenger, Boni Salis from Turkey and 21mn30 ahead of the 3rd athlete, Giannis Psarelis - diminished by Saturdays’ efforts, yet still making the podium.
The racing conditions were so harsh that no comparison can be made with May. The swim was affected by strong currents, wind and breaking waves, making visibility and orientation an issue. The cycling was also strongly affected by the wind. The extra efforts required to pedal against the wind took their toll on everyone, and even if the wind was pushing at some parts, it didn’t make up for all the energy spent.
Needless to say, Christodoulopoulos will need some serious competition in order to keep improving so guys, get ready for the next one, and give him a hard time!
On the women’s field, Milena Michopoulou confirmed her win of May’s Schiniathlon and took the lead again. After a good swim, she went on to post an amazing bike time, making the Top 20 of the bike times overall, and then went on to run the 14km with the 11th time of the day !! Overall, Milena wins the women’s field, 13th position overall, and 14mn ahead of the 2nd woman, Stella Mittagitsinou, the experienced triathlete from Thessaloniki.
Gabi Naegele, who was going for 3rd position on Sunday’s Race, fell off her bike on her 5th loop after experiencing some technical breakdown. She suffered superficial injuries which needed taken care of, and Gabi ended the race on the backseat of an ambulance! She is now recovering well, and we wish her all the best to come back again stronger.
The Veterans classification for both races is the following:
Sprint 1st Veteran – Stefanos Spanos
Sprint 2nd Veteran – Kostas Tsatsomaridis
Sprint 3rd Veteran – Jeff McDonald
Long 1st Veteran – Pierre Kervenal
Long 2nd Veteran – George Yannibas
Long 3rd Veteran – Christos Maridis
Top 10 athletes 2009
Schiniathlon closed the 2009 season by rewarding the Top 10 Men and Top Woman of the season. All of them were given a unique “Top Schiniathlete” cycling Jersey, and Gifts from Multirama, the overall Sponsor of Schiniathlon: Notebook for the 1st Man and Woman, Mobile phone for the 2nd and Camera for the 3rd.
The athletes of the category are:
1- Panagiotis Christodoulopoulos
2- Dimitris Bezas
3- Alex Antonopoulos
4- Kostas Papanikolaou
5- Pierre Kervenal
6- Markos Pachos
7- Stelios Andreadis
8- Panagiotis Theofilas
9- Antonis Nikolis
10- Stanislav Tanchev
Top woman - Milena Michopoulou
The 2009 season has been a crucial growing phase for Schiniathlon. The quality of the event provided has developed significantly, and this is essentially due to the support received from our partners and sponsors. The help provided by Multirama enabled us to establish our company and invest in durable infrastructure. The most notable improvements of this year are the timing-system (Chronos) and essential events equipments (racks, carpets, fencing, safety, transportation, etc…).
We still have a lot to improve and work on, and we will be looking for more support again over the 2010 season. Schiniathlon keeps to its transparency-commitment, and having published the 6-months accounts, will post the 12-months results in December.
Multirama, for their efforts to help Schiniathlon grow and for the amazing gifts they have spoilt the athletes with!
Moraitis, for his un-defectible support of the race and his un-valuable help on the days of the event and before – he is the man who stopped road public-work for the good of Schiniathlon!
The Red Cross Samaritains, for their excellent job at all events, helping keep the event a safe place to be.
The Traffic Police of Agia Paraskevi, who provided major support throughout the 2009 season.
Gu Gel & Bonk Breakers, for providing consistently the athletes with energy for the race.
Pulse100, Swimming Planet, FitSN and New Balance for their presence at the event, their professional touch and the gifts to the athletes.
Nikas and Avra, for their supply of Food and Hydration to the athletes, during and after the race.
The Schiniathlon Team