Anxiety was running high among the athletes as they got ready for the start. The temperature of the sea has been going down over the past week, helped with very strong North wind and rain. 140 athletes were wearing neoprene wetsuits, while 34 others were braving the cold sea with… nothing more than a swim suit!
Lucky as ever, Schiniathlon day was sunny with bright blue sky. 174 athletes lined up on the beach front at 9am and threw themselves in the water. The buoys were subject to the strong currents, it resulted in drifting and the swimming distance standing around 800m (instead of the planned 750m).
George Alyfantis came 1st out of the water in 10:59mn having swam alone at the front throughout, followed 15sc later by Spyros Gotsias and Filipos Andrianopoulos.
On to the bike and Andreadis, who came 5th out of the water, took the lead with the best bike time of the day in 31:11mn, one of only 4 athletes breaking the 32mn mark (with Athanasopoulos, Papanikolaou and Alevizakis).
Out of T2, Andrianopoulos was quickly taken over by Andreadis who would maintain his lead despite posting only the 12th time of the day – his consistency and speed on the swim and bike were enough to secure his win.
On the run Evgenios Zakynthinos posted the best time in 18:15mn, followed by Virgile Borderies and Leonidas Athanasopoulos.
Overall Stelios Andreadis won the race in 1:06:26 followed by Kostas Papanikolaou in 1:07:05 and Haralambos Paraskevopoulos in 1:07:58.
It is very interesting to look at the Top 10 and see how things are evolving quickly in the men's field over the past few years. Andreadis and Papanikolaou started getting podium positions in 2009. Paraskevopoulos is very new to triathlon, with less than a year acquaintance to the sport and yet he manages to stick at the front and sweep the 3rd place overall out of the hands of way more experienced and trained athletes. So did Nikolouzos, 10th overall, who is also a total newbie to triathlon. Virgile Borderies took 7th overall on his 1st Schiniathlon participation, but has with him extensive triathlon experience from his homeland.
On the women's field there were less surprises but some novelties nonetheless.
Leaving T2, Loukia had built a 5:30mn lead over Chrysothemi and the win was secure.
Loukia wins in 1:13:56 (14th overall) followed by Chrysothemi in 1:25:32 and Konstantina Patrikeli in 1:36:03.
Giannis Papagiannis of Pulse100 who came with machinery and cement the week of the race to fix the road (at the Kato Souli junction). Dimitris Moraitis who is raising awareness in the Schinias area for cyclists by putting up signs on the road. The Red Cross Samaritans who are supporting with great professionalism every Schiniathlon. The 20 Volunteers who woke up at dawn on Sunday and stayed on their feet all day to support the athletes. Pharmshop and Multirama, our biggest supporters of the season. And our Expo partners: Pulse100, TRX, FitSN, Lestos Bikes, Hot Yoga as well as GU GELS. The Traffic Police of Agia Paraskevi who is always standing by us and giving us support to secure the junctions.
The next event of the Series is the 22nd May ½ Iron Distance of Astros, Kynourias (the Astroman): 1900m swim – 90km bike – 21.1km run. We hope to see you as spectators if you are not racing, this is an amazing race to watch!
The next event in Attiki will be the Medium-Distance Schiniathlon of 5th June.
Enjoy your training and see you all again soon on the starting line!