The Istanbul experience

The race is over. I am sitting in my hotel foyer and typing these lines. The obligatory start line picture was cancelled this time, due to astronomically high data roaming costs. But I did take a picture an here it comes:
The bridge in background leads from Asia to Europe and the Istanbul marathon can claim to be the only one that goes over two continents (well, same way as Istanbul is apparently the only city on two continents). But the marathon bit on Asian ground is a bit of a joke. It’s only the bit from the start line to the bridge that you can see on the picture. But apart from this sneaky marketing trick is the marathon great. And the weather was ideal against the forecast and odds. Sunny, but not hot. The mosques, the Old City and the bit along the seafront felt magical. And my time was not to bad either, I think I did a PB, something around 3:37. Official time to be confirmed. And this dispute a rather uncomfortable loo incident. Number two. And Turkey does not have a very high developed Dixie toilet culture, means there was none in sight. My only option: storming into a random restaurant along the route and beg for mercy. Which was kindly granted, but this whole hole on the ground business is not something I am used too, so it took longer than I hoped for. In the end it must have cost me 4 minutes or so. Not easy to catch up with that. But then I meet this miracle girl from Holland, who become my kind of pacer until kilometre 38. She was very nonchalant about her running, saying it is her first marathon and she does not have a target time and just want to see how it goes. It seemed to have gone very well for her. At kilometre 38 when I had to drop behind, she still looked so fresh as if she had just popped out to get a pint of milk. Crazy. But she helped me to do a new personal best which I am very thankful for. Overall: Istanbul is definitely one of the more exciting and scenic marathons, with a great atmosphere and friendly organisers. The organisation itself is not the best I have ever seen, but still the event is highly recommend!

One thought on “The Istanbul experience

  1. Another well done Roy. Hope your personnel best time comes through for you. It made it smile reading this piece. I’m sure know what you mean by the whole in the ground business. šŸ™‚

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