In 2010 we organised the first long-distance triathlon of Astros, in Astros Paralia Kynourias.
The event consists of a succession of swim, bike, run over long distances. The format of the event is identical to the "ironman" triathlons found all over the world. However it is completely new in Greece.
Such long-triathlon events are a success story all over Europe. The events accomodate usually up to 3000 athletes, and they are booked up 1 year in advance. They bring millions of Euro to the region which welcomes them, spectators, media attention, business to the hotels, restaurants and other sports related businesses of the region. Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Austria, Switzerland and recently Denmark all host 1 or more of these events every year, and invariably the story is a success financially and tourism wise, for the region hosting it. The demand for such events in Europe is huge and growing fast, faster than the number of events itself.
Greece has got the perfect climate and landscapes to accomodate such an event. However one key factor of organising such event is the absolute support of the local and public authorities. Roads need to be closed for the cycling leg of the event, infrastructure needs to be installed on the public space to accomodate all these athletes running, cycling, swimming, in the safest possible manner, on the road and in the sea. In Greece there currently is no procedure and/or framework in place for private organisers to negotiate with public authorities and obtain such commitments.
We have however organised the event in Astros in 2010, with a view to test the potential of the event. 110 local (Greeks) athletes turned up for the event and completed happily (albeit on roads that were opened to traffic and with minimal police supervision).
In 2011 word of mouth has spread, mainly over the internet, and representants of 10 nations are among the 150 athletes already commited to the event. Counting the athletes, their family members and spectators, the impact on the region is significant, in a week-end set outside the traditional summer-peak.
The potential of the event is huge. If we could get into negotiations with public authorities to set the basis for such events to take place in all safety --> then we could start advertising abroad to the foreign athletes and the impact on tourism would be immense.
We organise triathlons in Greece since 2007 - at that time triathlon did not exist as a mass-sport in the country. Our main series of triathlons, set in Schinias Attiki, now attracts over 200 athletes at each event (5 times a year) over shorter distances than the Astroman.
We aim to contribute to drive the growth of sports-related tourism in Greece, we believe we have the skills and the country has the potential. We seek further support of our initiative...