The Spetsathlon!

Spring time is that special time of the year where one starts waking up from the winter lethargy and the pheromones in the air start doing their thing. Spring time is also that time of the year when you dust of your training kit and begin working out to be ready for the summer season. Or at least, the majority of us. In between Easter festivities might throw a spanner in the works, what with all the skewered lamb, magiritsa soup and assorted meat on sticks. It’s a hard one. Trying to follow a strict regime in the midst of a meat fiesta is challenging and unnecessary.

But, as with everything in life, a solution exists. And that solution has a name: Spetsathlon! The annual race celebrated in the island of Spetses, on the Saronic Gulf, is an institution. And that says a lot for an event in its 5th year.

A 3 day event that attracts swimmers, runners and bikers from all over the world in a Greek island in May is what we’re talking about here. Good weather, fantastic beaches, great food, friendly people, and the chance to burn some calories while basking in the singularly charming Mediterranean sun.

The Spetsathlon actually consists of a Triathlon race with two courses, and the Bike race. The Triathlon consists of The Spetses Triathlon Sprint (750 km swim, 25 km bike and 5 km run) and the Spetses Triathlon Endurance (1500 km swim, 50 km bike and 10 km run) for the advanced athletes. The Bike race is a 25 km affair round Spetses island in what is a more sanguine contest. Plenty of activities and events along the way to keep you plugged, too.

So that’s the 3 aerobic types of exercise that doctors and dieticians recommend. The quickest and best way of keeping in shape.

What’s more, you’ll be doing that in some pretty idyllic settings. Spetses is a sort of mini Mykonos for the cultured and the well-heeled. Signs of conspicuous consumption are not all that evident; old money speaks here. Things can get hectic at night though, with bars and clubs all present, albeit in a less decadent manner.

Spetses boasts of some amazing beaches such as Zogeria Bay. If you’re after tranquility, you’re best bet is this secluded pine tree beach with no beach bar and no umbrellas. You’ll need to be armed with your own gear, but don’t fear. The staple tavern is never far away form a Greek beach and in this case that’s no different. Kounoupitsa offers a similar set up, although this small district has a sandy beach and a small marble (!) beach, which is rather unusual, even for Greece. Ligoneri beach is also quite serene, with a choice of sandy and small pebble terrain. For organized beaches look no further than Agia Marina and Agiou Mamma. Excellent crystal clear waters and an abundance of culinary options ought to perk you up in no time.

The Spetsathlon is a truly unique race that combines the best athletic workout in a phenomenal Greek island, just an hour from the port of Pireaus. It’s no wonder this race has picked up steam like a Red Army locomotive. The fusion of sun, exercise and fun is hard to beat. Even after the Easter carnage.

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