Runtalya 2014: Photos From The Viewpoint Of A Spectator

Yes, this is the first time I haven’t taken part in a run in Turkey when Barry has. I was the spectator. Our first run was in Istanbul in 2010. We’d followed a basic running programme to get us started at a pace faster than strolling and, lo and behold, it worked – to the point that we decided to take part in Istanbul Avrasya 2010. Runtalya 2011 followed (oh, how wet we got) and, since then, we’ve taken part in two of the Istanbul runs again. I’ve done the 15 km and the 10 km…and Barry’s done two marathons.

The second one was to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, if you remember (we told you about our friends and their children) and so there was much incentive there for both of us – obviously. But then, would you want to do a third marathon? Well, I don’t think I want to do a first marathon but there are those of us in this world who really want to do this. Barry’s one of those people – and he’d quite like to do one in under four hours.

Runtalya 2014 Registration At Terra City, Antalya

Registration desks in Antalya Terra City shopping centre – pre queues

So a runner friend suggested half marathons. Improves your times, she said. So, Runtalya 2014 half marathon was decided. We booked and paid for the accommodation – it’s a weekend away as well as a run, so why not?

And then Barry tried to register for the run – all places gone! Fully registered. “Go to the expo anyway,” our friend said. “They might let you register if people drop out.” We had nothing to lose as we were still going to go to Antalya anyway…and so Saturday afternoon saw us loitering around Terra City shopping centre where the runners were to pick-up their bib numbers and timing chips.

Eventually, late afternoon, a long queue formed at one of the desks and we joined it – the queue of hopefuls. Our turn in the queue came and Barry was given a place. Great! I should point out here that I decided to appoint myself as taker of photographs for this run. At the 2013 Istanbul Marathon, I took photos of the 10 km run as I was trundling along power walking. For Runtalya 2014, well, I just wanted to take some photos.

Runtalya 2014, Antalya, Turkey

Walking to the start line on the morning of the run

The apartment we had booked meant we could walk to the start line on Sunday morning and, after milling about listening to the DJ and watching performances by some ridiculously strong acrobatic group, the call came out for runners to go to the start. So, as Barry took his place amongst the masses, I nudged my way to the front to take photos.

Runtalya 2014 - Start Line, Antalya, Turkey

It’s a bit of a squash

There’s always a lot of camaraderie between runners – and, as it turns out, there’s a lot of camaraderie between those on the sidelines taking photos, too. We’re all there to get photos of an event…and most of us are looking for family or friends who are taking part…and, if you’ve taken part in a run yourself, too, you’re just rooting for everyone, and loving what they’re doing. It’s a daft thing to do, when you think about it; running round the streets of a city just because. But it’s great fun, too.

The people taking photos turn around and usher me to the front and we all take turns to get our ‘good shots.’ (Good shots are those without the heads, shoulders and hands of those in front of us blocking the view.) I take my turn, but then…Now, if you’ll just cast your eyes to the top of the photo above, you’ll see all the people on the bridge. Have I got time to battle my way from the kerb, round to the steps of the bridge, to the top of the bridge and then find a place to get a pic from above before the run starts?

Runtalya 2014, Antalya, Turkey

The start line

I take a chance. Happy days. The bridge has escalator steps. I get to the top and, again, someone moves away whilst I climb onto the lower ledge to get a few photos. Barry’s in there somewhere. No idea where. And then the countdown to the start begins. Everyone counts down and raises their hands to the air…and I realise I can run to the other side of the bridge to get a photo of everyone setting off.

Setting Off - Runtalya 2014, Antalya, Turkey

Setting off to run a marathon, a half marathon or a 10k

This year, the Runtalya t-shirts are red. It all makes for a colourful sight on a dull day – and it’s lovely to stand on the bridge and watch everyone disappear off into the distance while music blasts from the adjacent grassy areas. In the next couple of hours, people will start running back down this road to finish where they started from. Barry’s hoping for a sub 2-hour time as a gauge for a sub 4-hour marathon later in the year. So now I’ve got a couple of hours to kill. That’s for another blog post though. For now, there’s a little bit of me wishing I was on the road in red t-shirt rather than on a bridge with a camera.

Finish Line, Runtalya 2014, Antalya, Turkey

The Runtalya returnees

After a wander, I decide to take my place on the bridge again to see if I can catch Barry coming back in. I lean over the edge to take photos and decide I can’t miss him – white top, bright green shorts, black socks, grey and red trainers – who needs fashion coordination when you’re running a half marathon in Runtalya?!

Runtalya 2014 - All Ages & Nationalities

Three different distances for Runtalya 2014

And while you’re waiting, you just see lots of lovely sights, like this couple running to the finish line together…

Runtalya 2014 Scenes, Antalya

A bit of crowd dodging to reach the finish line

I couldn’t catch the name of the group running in the blue t-shirts and the hats but there were quite a few of them there at Runtalya this year, streaming in to the finish.

Adım Adım Runners, Runtalya 2014

Adım Adım runners

And there were people running for Adım Adım. These guys are at all the runs – never seen any with a baby in a pram though. This is just one we saw at the run. I saw another guy come racing in with his toddler in the pram, loving every minute – Barry saw him en route, too. These are the people who get the big applause and shouts of ‘Bravo’ from the side of the road.

Finishing Runtalya 2014, Antalya

Some people look so happy to finish

No competition here from these four. They all ran in together as they are here, all in row.

Runtalya 2014

Familiarity at Runtalya 2014

And it’s not often you leave Fethiye without seeing a familiar face from Fethiye. The guy on the crutches trains along the harbour sometimes. He’s been to every run we’ve been to so it was good to spot him again as I waited for Barry to come in.

Adım Adım, Runtalya 2014

Adım Adım at Runtalya

More of the Adım Adım brigade – one of them barefoot by this time – and this little lad must have belonged to one of them because he ran along to the finish line with them.

Runtala 2014, Antalya, Turkey

10k or half marathon?

And I just thought these three chaps looked quite cool – that’s their only reason for being here. And, by now, I’m looking at the time…and I’m thinking, no offence to these three chaps but surely Barry has come in before them. Have I missed him somehow? We had an arrangement to meet under a particular tree on the grassy area next to the road if I did miss him…

I go back down to ground level and walk towards the tree…and there’s Barry, sat on the grass with his medal round his neck, getting cold, wondering where I’ve been. Hawk eye Julia completely missed him! I’d been up on the bridge for 40 minutes, he’d been at the tree for 20 minutes…One day, I’ll catch him coming in! A stroll back to our apartment for a shower and then out for a well-earned beer!

Oh, and Barry got the sub 2-hour time he wanted – so onwards and upwards for another marathon… Wonder if I should be photographer or make an effort and do something again…

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  1. It’s fantastic to see young and old, able bodied and disabled people joining together to raise awareness and a bit a cash. Fabulous.

    • In the past it’s looked like a bit of ‘serious runner’ event – but this year, Runtalya had a lot more fun runners – much better that way. Nice that more people want to take part. 🙂

  2. Are you entering the odium Global run 27th April (15kms)

    • It’s one of the ones we’ve looked at as we’d love a return trip to Bodrum, too. However, there’s one on the same day in Istanbul and it’s the last home match for Fethiyespor, too, so we need to do some deciding. 🙂

  3. Looks like a wonderful event and so well attended, loved seeing folks from all ages! Thanks for sharing : )

  4. Congrats to Barry! He certainly deserved the celebratory beer!

    I’m not a runner either so am happy to do a 5 or 8k, but that’s it so far. 🙂 Kudos to you if you do the longer distances!

    Oddly, I haven’t been seeing your posts all the time lately. And when I do, it’s like 3 or 4 in a row on the same day.

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