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Return of the 'Marnaton'

Foto marnatonFormentera's offices of sport and tourism have lent their support to Copa Marnaton, an open-water swimming fixture that returns to the island this season. Five years after it took over the island in October 2013, the Marnaton (a merger of the English “marathon” and the Catalan and Castilian words for "swimming" and "sea") will see participants compete locally in two different categories.

Raid Formentera
When the three-part event takes place Wednesday to Saturday (May 26), it will see contenders going solo or joining teams as they cover distances between 6.5 and 17 kilometres. Teams, for their part, will face a combination of swimming and kayak paddling.

Given the choice of challenges will be based on weather conditions, athletes won't know which circuits have been selected for competition until briefing day. The feature shared by the various options on the table is immense natural beauty and, in some cases, extreme difficulty. Participants must be prepared for a trial which extends over a distance of 17 kilometres.

Difficulty depends on the particular modality chosen by a contender at registration. If efforts are split evenly between partners on a team, each will swim and row equal parts. Swimmers opting to face the challenge solo must be prepared to take on the entire length of it, with a kayak trailing behind, too. A total of ten solo swimmers and twenty pairs are expected to take the challenge.

Next in the queue, and dovetailing with the final day of competition in the Raid, is the second Marnaton Formentera. The Marnaton is composed of two circuits, one four and another eleven kilometres in length, which see athletes departing from the western shore of Illetes beach and returning from the east.

Setting out at 10.00am, participants in the 4k circuit will go as far as es Pas before heading back towards Illetes. The first contenders in the 11k challenge will begin at 9.20am (departures will take place place every ten minutes for 30 minutes thereafter) and circumscribe s'Espalmador island before making their way to the finish line. Roughly three hundred swimmers are expected to compete.

Formentera's spring of sport
Raid Formentera and the Marnaton are just two entries on a brimming sports calendar (the Ophiusa regatta, Far a Far footrace and Mitja Marató are others) that is aimed at showcasing Formentera as a low-season destination for travellers and fitness fans as well as promoting active lifestyles among islanders.

Balearic basketball championship rolls into Formentera this weekend

Foto campionat-balear-basketFrom Friday to Sunday, the Antoni Blanc sport centre will welcome the boys and girls school finals of what's known as the Campionat Balear, the regional championship.

A Govern balear initiative supported by Formentera's own department of sport, the competition will take place Friday afternoon and in the morning on Saturday and Sunday. Six groups will attend—three from Mallorca, two from Menorca and one from Eivissa.

It will be attended by six groups (three from Mallorca, two from Menorca and one from Eivissa) and organised as a small, all-play-all tournament and final qualification is determined based on points.

Formentera's spring of sport
The Campionat Balear is just one of a multiplicity of sports features (the Ophiusa regatta, Far a Far footrace and Mitja Marató among them) aimed at showcasing Formentera as a low-season destination for travellers and fitness fans as well as promoting active lifestyles among islanders.

Open enrolment for summer courses at sailing school

Foto nens escola de vela 2017The Council's office of fitness reports that Tuesday, May 15, marks the start of registration for summer learning at the island's sailing school. Construction of the island's new nautical sports centre and sailing school (known officially as Centre d'Esports Nàutics and Escola de Vela, respectively) is still underway. Meanwhile, summer classes will take place at the provisional facilities located at the juncture of carrer s'Almadrava and the road leading to the mouth of s'Estany des Peix.

From June 25 to August 31, groups of eight will attend classes in the form of two-week sessions—from 9.00am to 11.30am, 11.30am to 2.00pm or 5.00pm to 7.30pm. Four levels will be offered for distinct levels of experience. Plus, a bateig group (for “baptism”, or beginners) will accommodate children with absolutely no prior experience. Students will choose between sailing and windsurfing. For the first time ever, this year, seasoned athletes will have the opportunity to form regatta teams. Each course costs €100 and reductions are available.

€35,000 deal with Formentera's surf club
The Council came to an agreement with Club Surf Formentera regarding the management of the sailing school and classes this summer. The club will oversee hiring and operations, while the Council will retain responsibility for the school's administration. The biggest donors to the summer course programme are Trasmpai and Marina Formentera.

Complete information about activities at the school and how to register is available at the Antoni Blanc fitness centre and http://emaf.cat/circulars-vela/

Formentera to welcome 3000 runners as 'Mitja Marató' turns ten

Mitja marato 2015  J.Antonio ArribasThe Formentera Council president and sports secretary met today to unveil details concerning the tenth Mitja Marató, or Half Marathon, on the island. Joining Jaume Ferrer and Jordi Vidal at the presentation were spokespeople from two of the event's main backers, Trasmapi's Alejandro Marí and CaixaBank's Josep Verdera, as well as Manuel Hernández of Unisportconsulting, the company overseeing organisation of the race.

Formentera's half marathon happens this Saturday, May 12. Three thousand athletes are scheduled to compete—two thousand for the half marathon and another thousand who will tackle the 8K route. This year was the second in which aspiring participants —more than seven thousand of them— drew lots for a chance to take part in the run. Organisers estimate that all told some 7,500 people will travel to the Formentera for the event.

Enhanced safety measures
Visiting law enforcement from Santa Eulària and Sant Antoni will be on hand to help keep things safe and, according to the secretary, “to reinforce safety provisions in place”. Highlighting the will of Eivissa's town councils and community groups to assist in Saturday's event, Vidal pointed out that civil protection volunteers from Sant Antoni and Sant Josep were due to pitch in as well, “to guarantee the safety of all those involved”.

Calling to mind turnout at the inaugural edition (one hundred and one), President Ferrer said the race had “come a long way in a decade”. He voiced thanks for all those who over the years have made the event possible, particularly volunteers, asserting “they are the ones responsible for making the Mitjà Marató a race that athletes —from across the islands, the country and the world— come take part in”.

Timetable and traffic interruptions
Runners in the 21K race set out at 5.30pm from la Mola lighthouse. Their 8K counterparts' hit the pavement at the same time, leaving kilometre marker 6.2 on the Sant Ferran highway.

The stretch of road connecting the town of el Pilar de la Mola and the nearby lighthouse will be closed to vehicle traffic from 3.00pm. Access will then be blocked between es Caló and la Mola from 4.30pm and between Sant Ferran and es Caló from 5.00pm. That is also when closures will take place on the stretch from la Savina to es Pujols and Sant Ferran. Vehicle traffic can resume as soon as the final runners have passed. Organisers say they expect the last runners will reach the port of la Savina finish line between 7.30pm and 8.00pm.

Athletes who drive to the event will find parking at a special lot in el Pilar de la Mola and must cover the final two kilometres to the lighthouse on foot. A shuttle service at the end of the race will take participants from the finish line back to the car park. Access to the lighthouse will be restricted to buses and vehicles belonging to the event organisation.

Anniversary concert
A free performance by Los Mojinos Escozios is being lined up to celebrate the half marathon's tenth year. The band is scheduled to take the stage in es Pujols's plaça Europa at 11.30pm. To accommodate those runners overnighting on Eivissa and hoping to get in on a bit of music first, a special 2.00am ferry passage and night buses between la Savina and es Pujols will also be made available.

Formentera prepares for first dance meetup

Dia internacional de la dansaThe local youth drop-in centre, the department of sport and the school of dance and music of Formentera have come together under the aegis of the Formentera Council to host the island's very first gathering of dance troupes.

Set to take over Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució this Sunday, April 29 from 12 noon, the event coincides with International Dance Day. The eight participating colles (troupes) will represent a sampling of the different dance veterans here on the island and the types of dance that are practised locally. Onlookers will be treated to demonstrations of classical and contemporary dance as well as displays of capoeira, latin and African dance, “insideout” and varied homegrown specialities.

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