ECONOMY

Sports events extend season of tourism

The organization of sporting activities at popular Greek destinations has helped to extend the tourism season and brought additional revenues to sector professionals.

Among the big events in the coming weeks are the Navarino Challenge marathon this weekend, September 19-21, and the Spetses minimarathon on October 10-12.

Greek-American runner Dean Karnazes will again be participating in the Navarino Challenge, raising awareness about childhood obesity and highlighting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and sports. The event includes a 15-kilometer run at Kalamata, and a half-marathon of 21.1 km and the 1-km and 5-km races at Costa Navarino in the southwestern Peloponnese.

Spetses will be hosting its minimarathon for the fourth year in a row. At a press conference on Tuesday in Athens, the head of the organizing committee, Marina Lyda Koutarelli, said athletes and visitors will exceed 10,000 this year, of whom some 20 percent will be foreigners from 17 countries. Local hotels are already reporting a 100 percent occupancy rate. The weekend will include three races, of 5 km, 10 km and a 25 km run around the island, off the eastern Peloponnesian coast. It will also have two children’s races, of 1 km and 500 meters, as well as two swimming races, of 3 and 5 km.