Meet up with the organizers of Roads to Rhodes Marathon
The annual International Roads to Rhodes Marathon is a vital part of the proud Greece Marathon heritage. Next year, 2019, the race organizers hope to attract runners from more than 30 nations who will run along the seaside of the Aegean Sea. The organizing team is working hard to fill the Marathon event with even more activities before, under and after the race.
The race started as an initiative to get more athletes to discover Rhodes
The island of Rhodes in the Agean Sea is one of Greece biggest islands and most popular destinations. Over 2,5 million visitors come to the island every year. The Roads to Rhodes Marathon was an initiative by Marieta Papavasileiou, president of the Organising Committee and Vice Governor of Tourism in South Aegean Region, to encourage more visitors to discover the region , says Dora Anastasiadi and Eleni Adamaki, both part of the Roads to Rhodes Marathon team.
Their office is located at Eleftherias Square in direct connection with both Rhodes Town Hall and the start and finish line of the race.
The route is beautifully planned along the sea
Roads to Rhodes Marathon has a track that faces the sea to 100 percent. The route will be cyclical by the seaside at the north part of Rhodes city and then arrive in the city center of Rhodes. The historical and cultural atmosphere is almost touchable in the inner city, who once was the home of famous Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Other attractions along the marathon route is the popular Mandraki Harbour and the medieval Old Town, which have been declared a World Heritage Site.
Rhodes is often associated with relaxing days on the beach, but this Mediterranean island has much more to offers those who like to combine a relaxing holiday with an active lifestyle and even the challenge of a long distance race.
Rhodes hosts a number of great sport events and we have organized The Island Games since 2007, which in some ways could be compared to the Olympic Games, bit of course in a smaller scale declares Dora Anastasiadi. The official Rhodes Sports & Training Guide is filled with ideas for an active holiday and we strongly recommend a visit to The Kalipateira Sports Complex, close to the inner city of Rhodes.
Links back to ancient Greece
It´s hard to talk about sports in Rhodes without mentioning Leonidas of Rhodes. He was an ancient athlete who won 22 Olympic gold medals in four successive Olympiads in 164 BC, 160 BC, 156 BC and 152 BC.
The first Roads to Rhodes took place in October 2014 by initiative from the American-Greek George Zaras. The Rhodes marathon now has the official approval of the Hellenic Athletics Federation SEGAS along with AIMS & IAAF which ensures the validity and the international recognition of the race. The flat course is the same for all the races (5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon).
A great race for international visitors
Dora Anastasiadi and Eleni Adamaki want the race to attract more runners from around the world.
We have many participants from many European countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands and Scandinavia. But also from the US. One wish is to get into the Japanese market, even though it´s a long way to travel.
Roads to Rhodes is considered as a well-organized race on a fast and track. The he organizers faces no problems in recruiting volunteers and the cooperation with sponsors and local authorities is excellent. The early start, 7:30 A.M. in Mid April is also an advantage as the heat won´t harm the runners.
What we want for the near future is to put even more fun into the races, Dora explains. We already arrange a popular pre-race pasta party in beautiful surroundings. A former bath resort southeast of the City Rhodes. We are also trying to get tour operators to promote the race and other sport opportunities.
Another wish is that Greece as a nation could take more advantage of it´s marathon heritage and the fact that the country so far has hosted two modern Olympic Games, in 1896 and 2004.
In 2024 we will celebrate the 10th Rhodes Marathon. 2024 is also a Summer Olympic Year. We hope that more runners will discover the stunning marathon races in Greece and especially the ones in Rhodes!