Navarino Challenge Platinum at 2020 Tourism Awards

Navarino Challenge
Navarino Challenge
Runners of Navarino Challenge crossing the magnificent Voidokilia beach (photo by Babis Giritziotis)

The award-winning Navarino Challenge sports tourism event will return for the 8th consecutive year in Messinia and Costa Navarino, from October 16-18, 2020.

Through its global message “sports unite people”, the event will offer the opportunity of discovering the magic of the Messinian landscape and the history highlighted by the top sports celebration, to people of all ages from Greece and abroad.

Participants will have a chance of running one of the top 21.1km Greek Half Marathons, along with Greek-American ultramarathon Dean Karnazes.

In addition, they can choose between the 10km route or the joyful 5km route which is also suited for dynamic walking. Athletes starting from the Navarino Dunes of Costa Navarino, will run along the picturesque coast towards Pylos and cross the magnificent Voidokilia beach, while passing by the Gialova lagoon. This is one of the most significant wetlands in Europe. It is the southernmost station of migratory birds in the Balkans to and from Africa that has been designated as a Natura 2000 nature protected area.

The Half Marathon is the only trail running route in Greece that combines soil, sand and asphalt. The event offers race timing for all runners. All races are co-organized with Messiniakos Gymnastic Club and EAS SEGAS Peloponnese Region.

On the same day, the 1km children’s race will be held in two groups, for children 10-14 years old & kids up to 9 years of age.

The impressive 5km route that emerges by the sea as well as all other routes, have been planned by the former marathon runner, current classic marathon course national record holder, running coach and director of All About Running, Nikos Polias.

Navarino Challenge
Unique running routes in Navarino Challenge (photo by Elias Lefas)

Navarino Challenge has remained at the forefront of the 2020 Tourism Awards, claiming the highest distinction in Greek tourism by winning the Platinum Award in the Sustainability category.

The significant accolades received by the event, also include the Gold Award, once more, in the Sports Tourism category and the Silver Award in the Integrated Marketing Campaign category. The Platinum award is the first one to be received by a sports tourism event in Greece.

Distinctions do not stop for one of the top sports tourism events in Europe since it was also the first sports tourism event in Greece to win an award in the “Best In Wellness” category at the International Travel & Tourism Awards by WTM London last year.

In the context of this year’s recognition, Active Media Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Akis Tsolis stated: “Our most recent distinction highlights the innovative sustainability initiatives that we have implemented in a sports tourism event, for the first time in Greece. Our excellent collaboration with Costa Navarino, all cooperating bodies, the Municipality of Pylos-Nestor, businessmen from Pylos and Messinia as well as our sponsors, indicates more than ever, the importance and value of solid strategic relations. Despite the unprecedented conditions we are experiencing, sports tourism is not only an integral part of the Greek tourism product, that we all need to protect, but something even more valuable for the future. There is considerable room for growth in outdoor sporting activities, which promote economic and social development for local communities, while highlighting the unique cultural elements of each place."

Navarino Challenge
Navarino Challenge runners crossing Voidokilia beach (photo by Elias Lefas).

Runners can act promptly and take advantage of the early bird offer on registrations until July 31. Athletes can register in the Half Marathon with a 40% discount and find out about valid early bird offers in all other routes. The children’s race is held at no cost. The event, always prioritising the participants themselves, offers a refund of their registration costs until August 31.

Navarino Challenge
Runners at Navarino Challenge 2019 (photo by Mike Tsolis)

The event continues to innovate for another year by having Samsung Electronics Hellas as its Official Technology Partner. Following last year’s successful contribution towards the organisation of a paperless event, Samsung and Navarino Challenge will offer all participants the opportunity to purchase the Galaxy S20, S20+ & Galaxy Z Flip, with a 20% discount.