1. Mr Spiriounis, first of all, it is such a big honor to have this conversation with you. Tell us more about the ''Ioannina Lake Run'' Project.
-Ioannina Lake Run started back in 2007 by the “Poseidon” sports club, within the frame of establishing significant athletic events in Ioannina, while the aim was the development of the Mass Popular Sports and, at the same time, city promotion and protection of environmental wealth such as Lake Pamvotis.
Apart from the major race of 30km distance around the lake which is significant training due to the coming of the original Marathon, there are smaller routes such as 5, 10 km footrace, 1km race for families, 1km race mother-stroller and of course 1km race by the lake for disable children.
2.Ηow many athletes take part in the race?
-In 2007 we started with 185 runners and last year in the 12th lake run with a record of participations were 3500 runners. As we speak, it seems that the 13th Lake Run will also have a record of participations with more than 4000 runners.
3.What is the importance of such sport events by your point of view?
-Our event has been established as the largest sporting event of Epirus and within the top 5 events of mass popular sports in Greece. Apart from a sporting event, that includes the universal and its individual values of Olympism and sports, it promotes both lifelong sports and health.
4.What makes that particular event different than the others? Is it the stunning lake, is it the picturesque route, is it your vision?
-What we say as a slogan to the runners we call to come every year is “IF YOU RUN, YOU MUST LAKE RUN” and that's because in the spotlight always is firstly the runner, secondly our 300 and most trained volunteers in a unique landscape round the lake with a flat route and of course our enthusiasm that remains the same because of the renewal made in the group constantly.
5.What is ''thinking out of the box'' for you?
-For us the triptych Sport, Culture and Environment were the three pillars we had to build our vision on.
6.What have been your learning milestones since the beginning of this project?
-I’ve learned that if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.
7.What is the ultimate impact on the city?
-Because no opportunity is shouting from the beginning that it is a great opportunity, today apart from me, who believed it from the beginning, more and more people understand that Ioannina Lake Run is a great opportunity of Ioannina, with tangible results in Tourism, Economy, and Communication.
8.How difficult is to convince people to have an athletic spirit in our modern society?
-In events that have withstood time and have been tested as Ioannina Lake Run is a little easier because there is enough information and communication so that runners take part with no second thought.
9.Your next goals are...?
-My personal goal is to increase international participations and satisfy everyone who comes for the race (either a runner, an escort or a spectator) making them good ambassadors of Ioannina city and Epirus.