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Navarino Challenge | An annual Marathon

Messinia and Arcadia, two Greek regions in the Peloponnese with a rich cultural heritage, hosted the “Navarino Challenge” marathon on 18th to 20th October 2013, led by the Greek-American ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes. This was the first marathon which aims to raise awareness of the issue of childhood obesity and the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Runners of all ages had the opportunity to learn about and took part in the race to support this cause.


The ambassador of “Navarino Challenge” and a key “fair play” supporter, is the world’s most famous ultramarathon runner, the Greek-American Dean Karnazes. Well-known from his countless participations in marathons in the USA (in 2006 he participated in 50 marathons), Karnazes undertake the role of informing parents and local school students about childhood obesity and how it can be fought through sports, healthy living and the right nutrition. This is in line with Karnazes’ commitment in improving the health and wellness of youth. This is put in practice through his foundation KARNO KIDS which provides direct financial support to organizations and programs focused on this cause. The starting point of “Navarino Challenge” was  Silimna, Arcadia, the birthplace of Dean Karnazes’ family, while the last route of the Marathon ended at the prime Mediterranean destination Costa Navarino. This route in the regions of Arcadia and Messinia also highlights the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. It took place in these fertile areas, where the fresh natural products which are an essential part of this diet, are found in abundance and consist part of people’s everyday nutritional habits. The aim of “Navarino Challenge” is to be established as an annual Marathon, with the contribution of Dean Karnazes.