Marathon #8 is done! Four marathons in four weeks. Wow, that was a beast, but then so is any marathon. However, the history behind this race, past and present, increased the symbolic tradition for so many people. This event was so full. Full of emotions, energy and empathy. The fires this summer in Mati created the movement titled Runner’s Forest. This was the point of the race where we were asked to display our green bandannas to create a river of green to kick off the reforestation effort. The 36th Athens Marathon will be memorable, to say the least.
I ran this race to soak in the enjoyment of being here, not as much to race it. I took several pics show this from the beginning of the race in Marathon to the final kilometers in Athens. Eventually I had to stop taking pictures and finish the race. I expected to shed tears when I entered the stadium, but it didn’t happen. Shortly after, I sat down to hydrate because slight dizziness was approaching. At this moment, I was about to shed a tear realizing “I did it!” and then I moved and the agony of stiffness knocked that tear clear out of the stadium.
The course. Yes, it was hard, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Reviews would make you think you’re running straight up the side of a mountain. What made this race grueling was the loooooong sloping hills. Some that curved up and up. I have had hill training this year (not as much as I wanted) so that helped me get up and over. The crowd support from the little kids and adults shouting “Bravo!” everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, made you feel guilty if you slowed to walk. Which I had to at times because now my left foot is my nemesis as opposed to the right. Anyway, even at the Runner’s Forest, a lot of people were dressed in all black, but they applauded our efforts as much as the other crowd supporters. They, of Mati, have lost homes, family and friends and possibly their entire fortunes. A lot of the brush and destruction has been cleared, but some people were seen walking to and fro as if they’re just surviving in the burnt shell of some structures that didn’t collapse. Just sad. This is a major event for Greece and seeing the runners come through meant the start of change is coming. They were happy to see us and if you looked at their faces, the emotion would move you. Would I run this race again? Oh yeah! Fueled by @maurten_official.
My name is Wil White and I approve this race.