The world's best Free Runners from 11 nations will turn the Greek holiday island of Santorini into a spectacular acrobatic parkour on Saturday (4 p.m. local time). On Thursday the athletes gave a crowd of tourists and locals a sampling of the excitement with a final training session on the island in the Aegean Sea.
The traditional and historic buildings in the village of Firostefani will serve as the competition site for the 15 athletes taking part on Saturday. Rooftops, domes, terraces and swimming pools are among the obstacles spread out along a 250-metre long course that rises and falls a total of 60 metres (from start to finish), which the athletes have to complete within two minutes. The athletes' performances will be judged by a four-member jury as they dart through the challenging course.
In Free Running the object is to overcome the natural obstacles with utmost creativity, style, skill and a perfect fluidity. The athletes push the limits of gravity as they overcome the gorges between houses and other hurdles with an unbelievable aura of lightness.
The event on Saturday will be broadcast live starting at 4 p.m. by live-stream at www.redbull.gr. Red Bull Art of Motion was first introduced as a competition in 2007 and it has since turned into the state-of-the-art event in the Free Running community.
In 2011 Tim Shieff (UK) won the first competition in London. At the end of July, Jason Paul (GER) took the top honors from a jury in a competition in front of Japan's tallest building in Yokohama. The world-famous stuntman and Free Runner Ryan Doyle (UK) was victorious at the competition in Sao Paulo (BRA). Marcus Gustafsson (SWE) won the competition in Detroit (USA).
The Santorini islands are located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 120 km north of Crete. The nearest islands are Anafi, 22 km to the east, and Ios, which is 19 km to the north; Milos is about 77 km to the northwest.