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September 26, 2006

Watching Chania's Triathlon

Triathlonbikezone On Sunday 17th we headed down to town to watch Chania's Triathlon. We laughed that back in the UK we wouldn't have dragged ourselves out of bed to go downstairs and watch a triathlon on TV, but we found ourselves getting up at 6:45am in order to watch this one.

We had a leisurely stroll down the deserted Nea Hora beach to get to town, and then settled ourselves into Remezzo to watch the events unfold. The Triathlon course involved a swim around the harbour, a cycle ride through the town, and then a running race based on laps of the Venetian harbour. Our seats at Remezzo were perfect to view it all.

Triathlonracer It all started at 9am, and there was lots of local support. The open category of the race was a half-distance version of the event, open to all ages, and with people also allowed to compete as a relay team rather than as an individual.

It was clear from the noise of the crowd that most of the competitors in this event were from Chania. A couple of young lads attracted a genuine teenage fan club, screaming at them every time they passed by. I'm sure if they had an ounce of strength left at the end of the race, they could have had their pick of the local girls.

The cycle route wasn't terribly well protected, and we saw a couple of very near-thing accidents with pedestrians straying onto the track. Most of the town seemed supportive of the event, except for one miserable trader in the harbour by the fountain, who decided he was going to put his merchandise out as usual, even if that meant blocking the gangway for the crowd, who then had to stray onto the track to get past his store.

Triathlonhalidon At 11, the whole thing started again. This time the athletes were doing the full distance in the pan-Hellenic Triathlon championship. Oddly there was a much smaller crowd for this, as the local competitors and their supporters had mostly dispersed.

The event was sponsored by "Men's Health Prevention", which we assume meant preventing men developing health problems, rather than preventing men's health. It was quite male dominated - there were only a handful of women taking part in the open category event, but Claire made sure she lent them her full support. We also very Britishly got up and applauded the stragglers as they went by - a couple of people in the open category really struggled to complete the swim.

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