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Wednesday 26 October 2016

(ENG) Spetses mini Maraton 2016 - part 1 - getting there

Looking for a "recreational race" after my first (I nearly misprinted this as "worst") marathon I came upon a three-day sports event on Spetses, Greece. Wide choice of distance options for swimmers and runners, including a 5K run and a chance to make my summer one week longer - I couldn't miss it! The event named Spetses mini Marathon (SMM) turned out to be such rich experience that I have to cut the story into several parts. The first one contains a brief introduction of the place (including some transportation details)

1. The island of Spetses (Spetsai) is located to the East of the Peloponnese peninsula and can be reached by several ways. The one I followed was flight to Athens - bus (X96) from the Athens airport to the sea-port of Pereus - boat (booked from Hellenic Seaways) from Pireus to Spetses. The latter took noticeably longer to go to Spetses than assumed by the schedule on the way there, but was just on time on the way back.

2. If you want to store your luggage in Pireus, search for this touristic office just in front of the Gate E8:
3. Here's how to find it:

4. And it is the port where you, my dear runner, start feeling welcome. The banner says there's a discount on trips to Spetses for SMM participants (the discount applies only the days of the sompetition, though).

5. The boat is called FlyingDolphin (there's also a FlyingCat). And we are on Spetses!

6. The building is a hotel partly turned into the mini-marathon office. The boats below are water-taxis.

7. Yon can see a man (left), who tugs the line of taxis to the berth when the first from the line leaves with passengers.

8. The most used means of transportation on the land are scooters.



11. There are also some three-wheel things for cargo.

12. Meantime, the island is getting ready for the big day(s).

13. The event attracts 20-30 th. tourists (participants and their fellows) - compare this to the island's population of approx. 3000 to get the idea of what a game-changer SMM is for the Spetses tourism.

14. Bouboulina is waitong for the runners...

15. Count Orloff is waiting for the swimmers...

16. ...the cats of Spetses are waiting...


18. ...the dogs, too...

19. The sponsors are not just waiting, they are preparing something.

20. You can use this toy to form all kinds of things with metal pins. Kids love it.

21. What about the participants? They are already in line to get their starting kits.

22. By the sunset-time the line is still there.


24. Take five volunteers and give them one notebook with the registration data - here's a recipe of a long line.

25. The volunteer girl is waiting to hand out those envelopes with bibs. But you must go through the computer check before you get yours.

26. The starting kit: bib (with chip), T-shirt, small backpack, some sponsors' stuff (including two razors - men's & women's).

27. I arrived a day early and had time to walk around the island. Took some views.

28. This road goes around the whole island and is 25rm long. It is also the rout of the 25K race - the longest among the SMM races. Hilly.

29. Tavern Orloff is so picturesque...

30. ...that I couldn't help putting it on a travellers' mug (and some other useful things - see more here):


33. Fifty shades of blue.

34. Panoramic view of Spetses town.

...continued here

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