What’s a spaghetti night got to do with a marathon? Well thats just the entrée of this getting together with a common cause and purpose in mind.
Inspired by a dream to show how much more the island has to offer than the usual tourist attractions, Marietta Papavasiliou decided to start the Roads to Rhodes marathon.
2014 saw the test run in motion and on 26th April 2015 the first fully official 42km marathon was successfully completed. Starting in the village of Mandriko on the east side and making a glorious finish in the centre of Rhodes, 36km of this scenic marathon is on the beautiful coastline, ending with the run along side the ancient walls of the medieval town. Weather wise, it couldn’t have been more perfect, the sunshine island of Rhodes living up to it’s name. To top it all off, a celebration of music and dancing finishes the event.
Three hundred volunteers helped to ensure participants had water, sponges and fruit along the way, medical help through the Red Cross and all those unseen but necessary works in order to make the event run smoothly. One of the ladies who organises and co-ordinates this mammoth event is Eleni Adamaki and after speaking with her, I was inspired to start training for next year! Her enthusiasm and passion bubbles over and you cannot be unaffected by the running bug.( Eleni herself has no time to run)!
640 registered adults and 500 children ran from many different nationalities and Eleni’s hopes are to see that number more than double next year. It now has the advantage of being recognised and officially approved by S.E.G.A.S (Greek Association of Gymnasts and Athletes), A.I.M.S ( Association of International Marathon & Distance races), I.A.A.F (International Association of Athletic Federations). Impressive!. The enthusiastic support from local business men and sponsors has all contributed to make this possible. If you would like to get involved, or have further information, visit the site Roads to Rhodes or join them on Facebook, Roads to Rhodes Marathon and why not book your next holiday with the marathon in mind, don’t forget to put those trainers in the suitcase.
Well done to all those who use their time to plan and shape this worthwhile event and make it such a success and to all those people who ran, without you it wouldn’t be the marathon.
Congratulations to the first runner to finish, Rania Rempouli, but as anyone who runs will tell you, it doesn’t matter how far or fast, or where you are placed, once you are addicted there’s no stopping. It’s a great feeling!
See you there next year!