Thousands of people of all ages, from 30 different countries around the world, gathered once again this year at Spetses, to take part, or watch, the great variety of sports, and not only, activities and events of the 6th Spetses mini Marathon, that took part between October 7-9, 2016 under the auspices of the Municipality of Spetses and the GNTO.
As every year, on the second weekend of October, the heart of the Greek and foreign sport lovers, was beating at the beautiful island of the Argosaronic Gulf which offered the chance to families, amateur and professional athletes, children and adults, to have fun and train during the race that was recently awarded as National Champion 2016-17 from the European Business Awards and is, undoubtedly, the most important sports tourism event in Greece.
The three-day event consisted of 8 running and swimming races for both kids and adults (Running races 5k, 10k, 25k, Swimming races – Bogazi Channel Cross 3,000m and 5,000m, Kids’ Races 500m & 1000m, Kids’ Swimming Races 150m & 300m and the Kids’ Race 500m “My 1st Spetses mini Marathon”). The races with the biggest number of participants were the 5k Running Race and the 3k Swimming Race.
For the first time this year, on Saturday noon, the 1st Spetses SUP event took place and attracted great interest, impressed the audience and is expected to establish itself, with the support of top athletes, such as the swimming champion Ioannis Drymonakos.
As every year, a great number of internationally renowned athletes took part, enhancing the prestige of the races: the Olympic Bronze Medalists Panagiotis Mantis – Pavlos Kagialis, with the latter participating in the 10k race, as well as Sofia Asoumanaki, Stefanos Dimitriadis, Kristel Vourna, Nora Drakou, but, also, the Paralympic athletes: Dimitris MIichalentzakis, Alexandros Taxildaris and Makis Kalaras representing “Perpato” Association and Voula Kozomboli along with the Association of Hellenic Olympic Winners.
On his first participation in Spetses mini Marathon, the top Greek marathon runner, Christoforos Merousis, member of Team GARMIN Greece, set a new record time for the 25k race at 1:26:15, while Deniz Dimaki, also member of Team GARMIN Greece and DHL athlete, took the first place in the 25k women’s race crossing the finish line at 1:44:32.
WIND, the Telecom Provider of the event since 2011, was the Grand Sponsor of the 6th Spetses mini Marathon, giving the unique chance to all participants, to run by its elite top runners: Markos Gourlias, Kostas Gelaouzos and Magda Gazea, who were the pacemakers of races.
Panos Vassilaras, one of the Holmes Place #Charity4U ambassadors, swam around the island (total distance 42K) in under 8 hours, picking the torch up from Alexandros Patounis, the torchbearer of the achievement, for the sacred purpose of supporting the association “Make a Wish Greece”.
The parallel social and cultural actions that complemented the athetic schedule played an equally decisive role and contributed to the success of the event. Those were the “Spetsiot Treats” prepared by the Women’s Association of Spetses, but also the Melissa Pasta Night, which takes place every year. The authorities of the island as well as the Spetses Trade Association actively supported the event offering to both athletes and visitors the opportunity to enjoy special rates and privileges for all local businesses.
None of the above would be possible without the contribution, the fun and the non-stop work of the Spetsiot Volunteers who personify the concept of participation becoming the heart of the event and are now counting more than 350 members.
The founder and President of the Organizing Committee, Dr. Marina – Lida Coutarelli, summed up the concept of success of the race: “For the 6th year in a row, we managed to get through a bar that was already high. Spetses mini Marathon not only is the top, with a clear gap from the second, sports tourism event in Greece, but it also is a real ode to participation, team work and fair play. Year by year we go higher because every year the bonding of the participants is getting stronger. Thank you to the Spetsiots from the bottom of my heart and to everyone who make this event bigger through their participation.”
The mayor of Spetses, Mr. Panagiotis Lirakis, noted: “We are proud that our island has been identified with something as big as Spetses mini Marathon! We did our best for everyone who visited Spetses this weekend to have the best impressions and we expect them all next year to return the honor that they make us with their participation, with our hospitality.”
George Tsaprounis, General Manager of WIND Corporate Relations, commented: “WIND always supports efforts that highlight values, promote collective action and contribute to the development of social dynamics. That is why we wanted to take our relationship with Spetses mini Marathon to the next level and we are really happy for the result. We, also, are twice as happy for the participation of WIND Running Team to this wonderful race.”
In the role of a pacemaker, Markos Gourlias, mid-distances champion and member of the National Track & Field Team, “guided” the participants to the 10K finish line in a time of 00:45:00. In addition, Kostas Gelaouzos, also a big-distances champion and member of the National Track & Field Team, leaded a team of 25K runners to a finish time of 02:15:00, while Magda Gazea, 12 times Athens Marathon Champion, helped 25K runners to cross the finish line in 02:30:00. Giorgos Dialektos, Trail Runner champion and WIND Running Team ambassador, competed in the 25K race winning the 2nd place while Magda Gazea took the 1st place in 10K race amongst women!
The Sponsors of Spetses mini Marathon 2016 were: DHL, the leader of international couriers, whose speed can only be compared to Deniz Dimaki’s who ran through the Spetses routes with the colors of the company, HERBALIFE, offering to the athletes necessary ingredients for a healthy and active way of living, INTERWETTEN, the first online gaming company, who first entered the internet world in 1996, while 2 years later became the first company that entered the Greek market and BIC which operates in the field of writing material, lighters, shavers and water sports. BIC® shaving products offered a unique pin art and 360ο experience, while BIC Sport introduced SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) to the SMM friends.
Melissa, the No1 Greek Pasta provider was once more the sponsor of the Pasta Night, offering to all the participants the necessary carbohydrates and energy, which were essential after the very demanding races as well as some relaxed moments. Pasta Kids was the sponsor of the kids races.
Biotherm was the beauty partner of the 6th Spetses mini Marathon, which took care of the hydration and the sun protection of the athletes and viewers.
The Athletic Sponsor was Under Armour that was recently introduced to the Greek audience through Spetsathlon.
Holmes Place, the international chain of premium Fitness & Wellness Clubs, which for yet another year provided valuable services to the athletes, was the Wellness Partner of the event.
GARMIN, the top company of technology equipment for running, cycling, swimming, etc. was the Timing Sponsor of the races, with Christoforos Merousis representing #teamgarmingreece on his first visit at the island.
The supporters of the race were: the Natural Mineral Water AVRA, valuable ally for proper hydration of the competitors, Macedonian Halva, a delicacy with high nutritional value – perfect (not only) for athletes, the pioneer and No1 company in producing sports food in the world, GU Energy with the valuable energy gels, the isotonic sports drink which is present in every big sport event worldwide, Powerade, Coca-Cola, A. Ismailos S.A. that offered the supporting vehicles of the races, MetLife, the top insurance company and ODEON which projected the SMM cine trailer before the biggest blockbusters.
Technohull contributed greatly to the conduct and supervision of the swimming challenge of crossing the Costa-Spetses channel that proved particularly demanding, with its impressive boats that combine speed and luxury.
HENRY DUNANT Hospital Center with its fully equipped mobile medical unit and its specialized medical team undertook the medical coverage of the races and even more! In addition, Lifeguard Hellas provided lifeguard services!
Hellenic Seaways was the Transportation Partner of the race offering a 10% discount to all the participants who travelled to the island by sea.
LG Electronics Hellas, the leading company in the technology field, was the “Technology Partner” of this year’s Spetses mini Marathon by the motto “Life’s Good when you participate”, offering the most innovative technology products and actions that impressed the visitors and made the experience of the three-day event even more thrilling.
Poseidonion Grand Hotel was the institutional body, while the Spetses Trade Association, the Bouboulina Museum and the Spetses Yacht Club were contributors of the race.
INNEWS was the Media Partner of Spetses mini Marathon 2016.
The Communication Sponsors of the races were Men’s Health, Sport24.gr, Huffington Post Greece and Sport Radio 103,3.