Sports Tourism Is Back! The Schedule for the Authentic Marathon Swim, July 2-4

The National Herald

Impressive footage of the swimming races at Pefki, of the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos. Photo by Elias Lefas / Authentic Marathon Swim

ATHENS – The most historic swimming event in Greece, the Authentic Marathon Swim, which opened the road for the organization of safe sports tourism events last year, returns this year with all the necessary health and safety measures and will be held with utmost safety, July 2-4, at Pefki Evia of the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos.

The Authentic Marathon Swim will include great names of marathon swimming again this year. More specifically, the races will be held with the presence of the silver Olympic medalist, World Champion and member of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Spyros Gianniotis. The Hungarian Oceans Seven holder and member of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Attila Manyoki, the American world ice swimming champion who has swum in the Arctic Circle and is also the fastest swimmer in the world in his category, Quinn Fitzgerald, and the European champion George Arniakos will participate in the event for the first time. The list of Greek participants is enriched by members of the Greek national swimming team such as Dimitris Negris, Stellina Aplanti, and Ilektra Lebl.

The National Herald

The Hellenic Navy Music Band will connect the historic naval battle of Artemision with the present and honor the naval feat. Photo: Hellenic Navy Music Band

The authentic 14km route “Skyllias & Hydna”

The historic moment has arrived. On the morning of Friday, July 2, four top athletes from Greece and abroad will try to revive the feat of Skyllias and Hydna, the very first “marathon swimmers,” according to the Father of History, Herodotus, who helped the Greek forces in the historic naval battle of Artemision against the Persian fleet in 480 BC. The swimmers who will try to cover the authentic marathon 14 km route are Attila Manyoki, the open water masters' world champion, Vicky Kouveli, the three-time Greek champion, two-time English Channel marathon swimmer, Sofia Psilolignou, and the English Channel marathon swimmer, Giannis Kotsiopoulos.

The schedule of the Authentic Marathon Swim

On Saturday, July 3 at 11:30 AM, the action will start with the new 5km open water swimming race, at 2 PM the 1.5km will follow, and the schedule of the day will end at 3:30 PM with the 3km race. The swimmers will swim within the square and triangular routes that have been designed with a starting and finishing point at Pefki beach. On Sunday, July 4, the event will climax with the 10km marathon swimming route. Swimmers along with their escorts will board at Pefki beach pier, at 6:30 AM and their boats will sail towards the race's starting point at 7 AM. The race will start at 8 AM with a finish point at Pefki beach. At 9 AM, the 800m children's race will be held. The warm-up of the athletes will be held by the physical education instructor, Mandy Persaki. The full schedule of the event is available online:

The National Herald

From last year's symbolic event at Mavroelia from Artemision, which is also known as Olive Mavromandila. Photo by Angelos Zymaras / Authentic Marathon Swim

The historic routes

All routes of the Authentic Marathon Swim have been designed by the Federal Technical Director of the Greek National Swimming Team and race's technical director, with Olympic and world distinctions in open water swimming, Nikos Gemelos. The historic routes may be viewed here:

Symbolic activities honor the history of marathon swimming

On Friday, July 2, in the afternoon, the Authentic Marathon Swim, honoring the history of the place, will hold a symbolic event at the ancient settlement of Artemision where Mavroelia from Artemision, which is also know as Olive Mavromandila can be found. It is a monument of nature and local history, one of the oldest olive trees in the world, dating back over 2,500 years. Winners of the routes will be symbolically awarded with a branch of Mavroelia.

Moreover, activities will include for the first time the presence of a Music Convention with the participation of the Hellenic Navy Music Band. On Saturday, July 3, at 9:30 PM, the Hellenic Navy's Music Department will hold a music concert in honor of the Artemision naval battle and the Authentic Marathon Swim.

The National Herald

Drone footage from the ancient settlement of Artemision where Mavroelia from Artemision, which is also known as Olive Mavromandila, can be found. Photo by Dimitris Andritsos / Authentic Marathon Swim

The Authentic Marathon Swim will be held with the permission of the General Directorate of Tourism Policy of the Regional Tourism Service of Central Greece, under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization and the International Olympic Academy. The event is co-organized by the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos, the Region of Central Greece, the Organization of Cultural Development for Central Greece (O.P.A.S.T.E.), the Central Union of Municipalities in Greece (KEDE) and the Regional Union of Municipalities of Central Greece. ActiveMedia Group is responsible for its sports production. The race has joined the swimming community of Global Swim Series (GSS).

Share your exciting moments and memories from the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos and the event using the official hashtag #authenticmarathonswim.





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