For the 2nd year in a row, Schiniathlon is offering a new place to race for triathlon fanatics. The series which is historically rooted in Schinias Marathonas is now addressing an ever growing field of athletes, with different abilities and aspirations. While Schinias is equally perfect for the beginners and exprienced looking for personal-best times, with its flat and fast routes, Vravrona is boasting completely different features. Hilly bike route, including a 1km uphill straight after the swim, twists and turns in the country-side of Vravrona... The running route is also a novelty, with Schinias 5km route taking the athletes in the shade-protected sandy paths of the pine-tree forest, while Vravrona 10km route is set on the coastal path, next to the sea but also exposed to the sun, with stunning views and gently rolling course.
140 athletes were positioned in the sea for the water start of the event, making this «olympic» distance triathlon the most massive event of its' kind in Greece. The race started with a water-start for the 1650m of open sea swim at the beach of Chamolia. Two swimmers quickly made their way to the front of the pack, Spyros Gotsias and Konstantinos Poulopoulos, closely followed by Stelios Andreadis.
These 3 athletes started the bike with a lead, but a different group of athletes made their way back to transition 2. Giannis Psarelis overtook 10 athletes to come back 1st into T2, followed 20sc later by Konstantinos Papanikolaou who himself overtook 12 athletes to achieve this feat, posting the best bike time of the day in 1:09:56. Andreadis and Pachos followed into T2 2 minutes later.
The run started with temperatures already over 30 degrees C. Headed 1st out of T2 Psarelis was at the front and remained there for 5km with Papanikolaou half a minute behind. The pair ran side by side until km 7, where Papanikolaou made his final move to the lead all the way through to the finish. Papanikolaou finished in 2:24:50 leaving Psarelis 45sc behind within the last 2,5kms. Konstantinos Poulopoulos posted a run time as good as his swim time which allowed him to make his way to 3rd overall in 2:27:20. The best run time of the day (and only one in less than 40mins) was posted by Virgile Borderies in 39:35 who took 5th place overall.
The women field was quite competitive this time. Out of the water in less than 30mn, Zarina Kopina took a decisive lead over Maria Kamizaki (33mn) and Heidi Diakoumopoulos who exited over 5mn behind the leading girl. From this point on, Heidi was on the chase, trying to chip off minutes off to catch up with Zarina. On the bike and Heidi cut nearly 3mn, posting a 1:19:49 bike time while Zarina, still in the lead, posted 1:22:20. Maria widened her difference with a bike time of 1:27:13. Zarina's triathlon experience showed in the very fast transitions, which means that out of T2, she was still 5mn ahead of Heidi. Zarina concludes the event with a 44:43 run with Heidi over 1mn faster. Zarina finished 15th overall in 2:38:16, Heidi 23rd overall in 2:42:04 and Maria 47th overall in 2:58:22.
The children mini-aquathlon took place early afternoon, with 22 kids on the start line, split into 3 age-groups. They raced their heart out in front of bemused beach-goers, giving their all to cross the finish and collect the much expected medal and finisher diploma!
Congratulations to all the participants – and see you again in September and October for the last 2 events of the series. A great and sportive summer to you all!
The Municipality of Markopoulou has been very actively involved supporting the event. We presented our project early 2011 and after a succession of meetings with the Vice-Mayor and Sports Committee, it was approved and warmly welcome.
The Municipal team did their utmost to ensure anything we needed would be provided for. Two boats, chemical toilets, team of rescuers and volunteers, police and traffic-police... Information was also communicated to all local residents, and a clean-up of the area was organised to ensure we would have the best setting possible.
All our thanks to Mayor Sotiris Methenitis and his team for the amazing job they have done. We are hoping to install this event as an annual feature in the Schiniathlon Calendar.
The Samaritains of the Red Cross have once again supported the event with their skills and expertise, attending to the athletes' problems (minor problems thanksfully!) on the road and in the sea. We are thankfull for their priceless presence which contributes to making our events a safe place to race for the athletes.
We also thank the Traffic police of Keratea and municipal police of Markopoulo for their heavy supervision of the bike route.
And last but not least, once again, the 20 volunteers who woke up at dawn on Sunday and stood up in the sun till the athlete crossed the line, to support and protect the athletes during the race. Thanks so much for your benevolent contribution!
Pharmshop and Multirama are the two essential supporters of the Schiniathlon series and their contribution is allowing us to widen our offer of events, and invest further in race infrastructure (we now have the much-awaited for digital clock at the finish!).
Cyclist was present on the road to ensure bike service during the race. They managed to save a couple of athletes from a potential DNF thanks to their presence on the bike course.
Pulse100 with Giannis Papagiannis, a loyal supporter of the Schiniathlon series and an avid racer too.