Never before have so many athletes competed together at a triathlon race in the country. 340 athletes checked in at Moraitis resort on Sunday morning, ready to take part in the last sprint triathlon of the year. 276 individuals and 64 team-members…
The mass start was by far the most scenic view of the event. With 400 spectators packed around the course of the event, the athletes would get a lot of cheering to sustain their efforts. 750m swim in Schinias Bay, 20km bike around Schinias, 5km run in the pine-tree forest. The weather conditions were nearly ideal for the race, strong winds making the bike section difficult at times, but thanksfully cooling down the air to reasonable temperatures.
Paraskevopoulos and George Alyfantis led the swim from start to finish, with Paraskevopoulos exiting the water slightly ahead of Alyfantis. Worth to notice he was part of a team, whereas Alyfantis was doing the whole race on his own. They were the only athletes to break the 11mn for the distance. Following them from a small gap were Fanakis, Spyros Gotsias, who is making remarkable debuts in triathlon this year, and Stelios Andreadis. It took nearly 35mn for the last athlete to complete the swim.
On the bike, things accelerated and the front of the race was subject to strong competition. Nobody managed to break the 30mn for the 20km probably because of the strong winds. Kostas Papanikolaou posted the fastest bike time in 30:13, followed by Andreadis in 30:42 and Pappas in 30:56. These are the only athletes below 31mn.
After the bike, Andreadis was in lead, followed 9sc later by Alyfantis, with Papanikolaou & Pappas 30sc behind. Alyfantis went on to post the 3rd run time of the day in 19:23, while Andreadis collapsed and was reduced to a limp. Pappas managed to open a gap on Papanikolaou, just enough to cross the finish line 17sc clear of his opponent.
George Alyfantis finishes the race 1st in 1:04:32 being the only athletes ever to do less than 1hr05 at the Sprint Schiniathlon. This reflects his consistency among the 3 sports and a major improvement on his transition times. Dimitris Pappas and Kostas Papanikolaou complete the podium.
On the women's race it seems the victory was all for Aggeliki Thoma from start to finish. Aggeliki has accomplished an amazing race for her first appearance at Schiniathlon. She led the women's field from the very beginning. Exiting the water in 14:09 she was already ahead of race favorite Maria Kamizaki from Crete. Aggeliki kept her lead throught to T1 and the bike. She left T2 with a very marginal lead over Maria, but drew on to her running background to post a 22:30 run and finish the race in 1:19:52 nearly 3mn ahead of Maria. The 3rd women, Vretoula Ploumida was herself 3mn behind Maria. Vretoula was near the top women after the swim and the bike, but collapsed on the run and lost valuable minutes. Worth noting that the 4th woman of the race, Evvagelia Gotsia, also the youngest athlete of the race and triathlon beginner, posted the 12th time overall at the swim and went to finish a very honorable race, missing the podium by a mere 46sc. Very encouraging debuts!
The Team-Relay was a big success with 26 teams lined up at the start and 8 of them managing a top-30 finish! The aim of the team-relay was to attract women to the sport via an entry in mixed gender teams. 26 women took part, which is more than the 19 women who took part as individuals! We hope this would encourage more women to register and realize that triathlon is accessible to all levels and abilities.!
BikeMeToo.Gr took the 1st place, with a very effective team. Ioannis Fanakis completed the swim leg in front of the 300 strong pack in 10:51. Loukia Loukopoulou took the relay and posted the 10th best time of the day in 31:53. Filippa Poulidou ran her heart out to the 5km in 19:33 with the 7th best time of all. This gave the team the 2nd place overall in 1:04:44, 12sc behind race leader George Alyfantis.
Tri-an team took 7th place overall with Dimitris Kakouris posting the 5th bike time of the day, giving his team a 1:06:59 finish. BikeMe.Gr team completes the podium with Lefteris Paraskevas posting the 3rd swim time of the day in 11:02, giving his team a 1:08:36 finish.
Volunteers and Sponsors
We would like to thank very warmly the 35 volunteers who have given their free time and energy to help secure and supervise the event. They are the soul of the event and no race of this scale can take place without their benevolent involvement. Thanks also to Alex for the music he graciously played after the race to accompany the athletes relaxing after their efforts. Thanks also to the Red Cross Samaritans who gave their best, supporting in the sea, on the road, with their experienced men and materials.
Thanks also to our series sponsors Pharmshop and Multirama, our biggest supporters of the season. Our Expo partners: Pulse100, BikeMe.gr, who also provided tremendous bike technical service to all the athletes. And GU GELS for the energy support of all the athletes.
Moraitis resort has once again been a great host of the event, and we expect to have a full party for the end of the season on 16/10.
Enjoy your training!