ATHENS – The Greek rebellion against the Ottoman Empire, 200 years ago, marked the end of slavery, reclaiming the most valuable asset for Greeks, their freedom.
Historical battles of the national liberation efforts took place in the Messinian land and decisive naval battles effectively sealed the end of the Revolution and led to the freedom of Greece, resulting in the national rebirth and the establishment of the Modern Greek state.
Run Messinia is an ultramarathon race of a total distance of approximately 421 kilometers, a tribute to the important events and unforgettable battles of the heroes of 1821. On June 5-14, during the “Run for Freedom” edition, 10 athletes per route will attempt to run 10 marathons in total, in 10 consecutive days, crossing historic places and monuments of Messinia, Laconia and Arcadia, which are related to the Greek Revolution.
Run Messinia is committed to never forgetting all those sacrificed during the Revolution of 1821 and promises to spread the stories of heroes who honored and defended the right of all people to live with dignity in a fair and peaceful world.
The 10 historic routes of Run for Freedom
The Messinian land constitutes a special and historic place for the Greek Revolution of 1821. For this reason, the event aims to highlight the history of all the areas associated with the Greek Revolution in Messinia both culturally and touristically.
Run for Freedom will start its first route from Areopoli of the East Mani Municipality, pass through Stoupa of the West Mani Municipality and end in Kardamyli. The second route, starting from Kardamyli, will pass through Verga of the Kalamata Municipality and end in the city of Kalamata. In the third route, the athletes start from Kalamata, cross Nedousa and finish in Alagonia. During the fourth route of Run Messinia, the runners starting from Alagonia will pass through Dyrachio and Neochori of the Megalopoli Municipality and complete their effort in Poliani of the Kalamata Municipality. From Poliani, during the fifth route, participants will cross Skala and end up in Paloukorahi of the Oichalia Municipality.
The sixth route will highlight historical places of the Oichalia Municipality, as the athletes starting from Paloukorahi will cross Katsarou, Solaki, Meropi, Loutro, Diavolitsi, Ano Psari, Dorio and end up at the statue of Kolokotronis in Ramovouni.
In the seventh route starting from Ramovouni, the runners will pass through Zerbisia of the Messini Municipality, Kalogeresi, Saint Nikitas Sellas and Tripyla of the Trifylia Municipality, in order to reach Maniaki of the Pylos-Nestor Municipality. In the eighth route the participants will start from Maniaki, pass through Agios Andreas of the Messini Municipality and Kato Minagia and finish in Koroni. The ninth route will move exclusively within the Pylos-Nestor Municipality from Koroni, to Methoni and then to Pylos. The 10th and final route of Run for Freedom starting from Pylos, will provide runners with the opportunity of passing through Neokastro, observing Sphacteria and Paleokastro, while crossing Kremmidia and Schinolakka.
The participating runners
Every day, a total of 10 athletes will participate in each race. The confirmed runners, so far, who will revive the historic routes and run for freedom are the following, in alphabetical order:
•Marios Giannakou, Al Marmoum Desert Ultramarathon Finisher (270km)
•Ioannis Dimopoulos, Spartathlon Ultra Race Finisher (246km), Running Coach, Spartan Runners Club
•Dean (Konstantine) Karnazes, The Ultra Marathon Runner, 50 Marathons - 50 States in U.S.A. - 50 Days, one of the 100 most influential people in the world, according to TIME magazine
•Vasiliki Karpouza, Ultra Marathon Runner
•Vasilis Koumanakos, Marathon des Sables Finisher (Sahara 250km), Health Runners Club of Messinia (SDYM)
•Jo Manta, Spartathlon Ultra Race Finisher (246km)
•Christos Mavrikios, Spartathlon Ultra Race Finisher (246km)
•Georgia Mitsiou, Badwater Ultramarathon Finisher (217km), Spartathlon Ultra Race Finisher (246km)
•Athanasios Michas, Ultra Marathon Runner
•Katerina Sapari, Bronze medal ITU Aquabike World Championship, Triathlete
•Angela Terzi, Spartathlon Ultra Race Finisher (246km)
•Christian Tsantoulas, 1st winner of The Road Between the 2 Towers (595km - 14 Marathons in 24 days)
•Dimitris Troupis, Pyrenees Stage Run Finisher (240km)
•Runners from the Health Runners Club of Messinia (SDYM)
•Runners from the Spartan Runners Club
The event is planned and will be implemented based on the strict health and safety protocol and the approval of the Health Scientific Committee of the General Secretariat of Sports, with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic conditions. In order to avoid any excess interactions and overcrowding, up to 10 runners will compete in each route, with a COVID-19 test being mandatory for all. In case the epidemiological data improve, an increase in the number of participating runners will be considered. In case of a deteriorating health environment, the event will be transferred to the end of June.
The valuable support of the Municipalities
The partnered Municipalities supporting Run Messinia and contributing to the event's smooth implementation are the following, in Greek alphabetical order: East Mani Municipality, West Mani Municipality, Kalamata Municipality, Megalopoli Municipality, Messini Municipality, Oichalia Municipality, Pylos-Nestor Municipality, Trifylia Municipality.
Run Messinia will leave a legacy for the future of the place, as it has already started highlighting and promoting through its social media, the historic places, the battles and all the monuments, which are located in the three regions and through which runners will pass.
The event will be held under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization. The difficult task of the event's planning and implementation has been undertaken by the award-winning ActiveMedia Group through its Sports Production department.
More information on the schedule, routes, and details of Run Messinia will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Hashtags: #runmessinia #runforfreedom