Taking root in the region that gave rise to the Olympic spirit – Costa Navarino will host Greece’s first ever IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon. The race will take place in Costa Navarino of the Messinia region, one of the ‘most unspoiled and breath-taking seaside Mediterranean landscapes’. The inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Greece will take place in Costa Navarino on April 14, 2019, and general registration opens on May 28, 2018.
A release from IRONMAN notes that Costa Navarino welcomes athletes from around the world to Greece’s first ever IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon and to experience the renowned Messinian hospitality, or ‘filoxenia’ in Greek – a word that’s origins stem from Homer’s Odyssey.
“An unmistakable tourist destination and the birthplace of competitive sport, Greece has a fast-growing triathlete community that provides the perfect opportunity to add an IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon to our European schedule,” said Stefan Petschnig, EMEA Head of Operations and New Business at IRONMAN. “Combined with incredible hospitality, beautiful landscapes and a celebrated sports history, athletes worldwide are in for a unique experience few other locations can duplicate.”
Located within the southwest Peloponnese, Costa Navarino is accessible with direct flights to Kalamata International Airport from most European cities and only a short drive from Kalamata International Airport to Navarino Dunes. From Athens, Costa Navarino is approximately a three-hour drive (270 km) and from the international port of Patras, which has daily ferry services to and from Italy, a two-hour drive (200 km).
Off the beach of Navarino Dunes, athletes will embark on a 1.9km (1.2-mile) swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, with water temperatures usually around 17°C (63°F).
The bike course has an estimated total elevation of 800m and consists of a two-lap, 90.1km (56-mile) route on ‘excellent paved roads’. Heading out of Costa Navarino, athletes will ride through ancient olive groves and pine-covered hills, while never losing sight of the deep blue seascape of the Ionian Sea.
Finally, the 21.1km (13.1-mile) run course will commence from The Westin Resort Costa Navarino towards the golden sand Omega (Voidokilia) Beach, which is adjacent to Gialova Lagoon, a protected Natura 2000 site. The course continues to the lagoon over the village’s cobblestone roads before heading back to the finish line at The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort at Costa Navarino.
The region boasts landscapes, a cultural heritage spanning 4,500 years and inviting year-round weather conditions, making it an ideal destination for an IRONMAN 70.3 race… ‘With a heritage that includes the rich tapestry of kings and queens, honour and tradition, war and friendship, Costa Navarino provides the perfect base from which to explore and discover a fascinating history.’
Athletes and their travelling companions can visit Neolithic settlements, Mycenaean palaces, Classical temples, Byzantine churches and Medieval castles, all within easy reach both from Messinia as well as in the broader region of the Peloponnese.
IRONMAN 70.3 Greece will offer 30 qualifying slots for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France. General registration will open at 14:00 CET on Monday, May 28, 2018.