It’s mid-April in the seaside suburb of Vouliagmeni and the charming coastal town is buzzing with excitement as XTERRA Greece celebrates its ninth-year welcoming athletes from all over the world with a festival of off-road racing, culture, and community.
“It’s a beautiful event that takes place in a city full of history and culture like no other,” said Kostas Koumargialis, XTERRA Europe marketing director. “The climate is perfect, nearby attractions are plentiful, and of course, the Greek cuisine is unforgettable.”
Koumargialis, who lives nearby and has been hosting friends and family from the XTERRA community for years, is quick to recommend the perfect day trip for visitors.
“Visit Vouliagmeni Lake - a hidden away haven for a relaxing afternoon, or take a 1-day cruise across the blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. Then when you return, try the famous Greek souvlaki at Zaxos Grill before enjoying handmade ice cream at Waffle House whilst watching the sunset over Vouliagmeni Beach.”
For those looking for a little more action, XTERRA Greece is hosting nine unique endurance challenges for fans, friends, and family including swims, aquathlons, and a whole set of races for the kids like lazer runs, moving chess, and even ‘slow’ bike racers where the longest time wins! The most famous of the weekend events is the XTERRA Greece off-road triathlon.
Held right on the sands of Vouliagmeni Beach, XTERRA Greece combines challenge and adventure for athletes as they swim, bike, and run through the stunning green spaces and coastal areas that lie just outside one of the most visited cities in Europe.
After swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the bay, the course winds itself around the clifftop paths overlooking Varkiza and Vouliagmeni, providing the most incredible views over the oceans and islands that Greece is famous for.
While XTERRA can never be classed as ‘easy’, XTERRA Greece is perfect for those taking their first steps into the world of off-road racing. Dry and favourable weather, combined with well-worn hard-packed trails, the course offers a technical challenge for those athletes pushing the limit, but a safe and predictable environment for those more interested in new experiences and personal challenges than racing against the clock.
XTERRA Greece is a qualifier for the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon to be held in Trentino, Italy on October 1, 2022, awarding slots to every age group division winner in the race. It's also the first prize paying race for elites in Europe this year, thus attracting the sports’ biggest stars and this year all eyes will be on husband-and-wife racing duo, Richard Murray and Rachel Klamer (pictured), as they embark on a year of XTERRA adventures following a busy couple of years chasing Olympic Triathlon Glory.
As a two-time winner of XTERRA South Africa Murray has his sights set on the top step of the podium, Klamer on the other hand is firmly here for fun.
“Being mentally and physically drained after two tough years focused on the Olympics I felt like doing some different races this year. A few years ago I raced an XTERRA in Grabouw (RSA) and I loved it,” beamed the Dutchwoman, “So that's why I’m racing XTERRA this season; to keep it fresh with a different set of goals.”
The pair are joined by a stellar field of elite athletes, like Sandra Mairhofer and Loanne Duvoisin pictured above (In true XTERRA-style playfulness, Sandra is holding Loanne's swim cap and Loanne is holding Sandra's). The customized swim caps are part of a sustainability campaign led by Zoggs, the official swim category partner of the XTERRA European Tour, to provide elites with caps they can re-use at all XTERRA events in the EU this season.
To learn more about the event and get tips to start planning your own dream trip to the Athenian Riviera, visit the XTERRA Greece Event page.