Last October, we took part in the 8km and 15km runs as part of the Eurasia Marathon in Istanbul and while we were at the expo the day before, we picked up a few leaflets for other runs that take place in Turkey throughout the year.
One that particularly took our fancy was Runtalya; a 4km fun run, a 10km run, a half marathon and a marathon, taking place on 6th March 2011. The leaflet showed happy faces from Runtalya 2010, gleefully jogging along the coastal road in glowing sunshine. People were waving and laughing at the camera. That was the run for us. We decided to register for the 10km…and it took place today.
We can’t wait to see the official photos from Runtalya 2011. We’re fair weather joggers – if we go jogging at all – and we don’t even dream of leaving the house for a run if there is any wind or rain on the horizon. We came to Antalya from Fethiye on Friday, ready for the run today, and Friday and Saturday were blessed with glorious sunshine so it was all looking good for the 10km run today…until we left the hostel this morning. First of all, it was dark skies and a bit of drizzle, but we walked a few steps further and the specks of rain became huge drops, as if someone was pouring buckets of water from the sky.
Of course, within seconds we were absolutely soaked through. We marched up the street, heads down, with hundreds of other cagoule-clad runners, making our way to the start line, 40 minutes’ walk away. Spirits were lifted at the starting lines with a bit of Van Halen blasting through the speakers. Torrential vertical rain became torrential horizontal rain as the wind whipped up from the sea below and then we were off. That lovely feeling of running through a couple of inches of flood water which couldn’t be avoided as it was right over the stop of the start line.
We all splashed through hundreds of puddles, cagoules zipped right to the top and hoods pulled tight round our faces (Barry refused to wear his!), the wind fighting against us. Eventually, after what felt like hours, the floodlights of Ataturk Stadium came into view. A final push, loads of encouragement from other runners and spectators and then someone shouted (in German) that there were only 250 metres to go. There was supposed to be a green carpet to guide us round to the finish but this was long buried under the weight of running feet and waterlogged, muddy football pitch. Nobody cared. We somehow ran / waded through the lot and were rewarded with our medal at the end.
Anyway, it was too wet to take my camera today so I took this photo of our medals when we got back, just to prove we did it. And if it all sounds awful, spare a thought for when we got back to our hostel and realised the hot water works from solar panels! NO hot water at all. Icy cold shower. It was all good fun though – and we’re already looking forward to the next run, whenever and wherever that may be – with whatever the weather gods choose to tease us with.