Anyone done this race in Greece? International Swimming Marathon of Toroneos Gulf

I am suffering post-season depression and needing to plan my travels.
Has anyone done this swim?
I can't find much about it but my husband has always wanted to go to Greece so....


  • I see James Boucher came in second place this year..... no doubt the oracle will be waxing lyrical shortly. 26k in the Greek sunshine.... that'll bring tears to your eyes....
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    @JimBoucher submitted some photos from this for consideration the MSF calendar. He can give a good report.

  • JimBoucherJimBoucher Senior Member
    Yep, I did it but wasn't 2nd in the race (it isnt a race), I think I was second alphabetically in the startlist.
    You need to know the locals or someone close to the locals, I suspect, for many of the races in Greece. For those of you looking for downloadable details, registration and so on, this isnt really for you. Also, you're in for a 26km swim in about 25C water, perhaps rising to 26-27C at the shores and usually in blisteringly hot conditions. Not planning and not being prepared, and not having a support person to go in the boat is not recommended! We were lucky to have friends in the region who firstly encouraged us then helped us.

    I have nothing to add in terms of contacts other than Niek's stuff. But dont hold your breath just yet for details to appear on the website, and even then you might need to read Greek too. We were lucky to have met up with the legendary Michael Read, beforehand in UK, and then over in Greece and had plenty of inside info from him too. As an honorary citizen of Nikiti he was also a great guide.

    But lets not get down about @Warmwater says, I have been waxing lyrically about the entire experience. Wonderful people, an atmosphere beyond anything you'll ever imagine. 9 hrs 12 for me to get across, fairly uneventful - so so quiet, no boat traffic, no noise, one single lost little jellyfish. And 25C water....yep, leave the cold-hardening out for this one. You have to be organised enough to call the feeding shots from the water, the support boat is usually a local fisherman, one per swimmer.

    There's a bit of a story on our local regional website

    Given the way so many people seem to obsess about getting ready for OW races, my advice would be that you either learn to relax and chill for this one, or simply dont go. The locals get there in the end and it truly is the most remarkable swim I have ever participated in.

    It isnt a race, though, as I said above. The finish order is just that. We all get exactly the same medal and trophy and garland of olive leaves. And all the athletes stand together, equally lauded by the crowds at the end.

    evmo[Deleted User]
  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member
    It sounds pretty fantastic. I love the idea of it NOT being a race and just enjoying the experience.
    The issue for me would be with trying not to get stressed about a more, ahem, casual level of organization as I'd be bringing my support team -- aka husband and son -- and I'd want to have at least some level of details for them. One of my mom's dearest friends is Greek and could help me with the language questions and other things---and has been encouraging us to get over there for years.

    And as far as water temp is concerned, because I am a cold water wimp of epic proportions, I love the idea of it being that warm! Years ago, before i ever learned to swim, I backpacked around Europe and spent two weeks in the Greek Isles, luxuriating in that fantastically warm and clear water. It sounds wonderful to be there again! It sounds like just the kind of swim I am looking for. What a sense of community there seems to be there!

    And Jim, I am not surprised that you would be the go-to person on this forum! :) I loved the article and video. Congratulations!!

  • It sounds a great event and a nice review. At my age all events are 'no race' events!

    How did you tackle the intense sun issue Jim, 9 hours (a lot longer in my case I'm sure) would be a major challenge to maintain protection?
  • JimBoucherJimBoucher Senior Member
    We were lucky this year in that the weather was verging on thundery. It could have been a lot worse but I didnt do anything that different. I dont think we had time to try to put a layer of, for me, P20 on the night before and then add another in the morning. Some high cloud probably helped on the day. I think we just applied more protection a lot more thoroughly than usual - I probably have a hide like a leatherback turtle so it wasnt too bad. I had some problems with my chaffing on the back of my neck and did scar a bit - the olive leaf garland did hurt a bit but, if they were good enough for the athletes of yore then who was I to complain.
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