We may have only run the 10K but the whole trip was a Marathon in itself. Pam and I got on the plane Saturday morning in Munich. We landed at Athens Airport outside the city to the East at 3:00 Athens time. We took a 45-min bus ride to get to the other side of the city where we had to pick up our bib numbers and race packet. Then it was a 45-min tram to our hotel. Our BEAUTIFUL hotel which you can check out here. Too bad we were only there one night. We got there just in time to drop our bags and go find dinner. A woman on the plane told us about a restaurant near the Plaka. We found it but opted for a more lively one across from it instead. We figured you couldn't get bad Souflaki in Athens. We were right. Our table was full of all our favorite Greek dishes and we PIGGED OUT! We obviously aren't athletes worried about our time in the run (good thing). We walked through the Plaka on the way back to the hotel to find a jacket for me to run in. We weren't expecting how cold it was there. Weather.com was WAY wrong.
The next morning we arrived at the Stadium and got ready for the run. Since we signed up for the run we were worried about the course description, "the first part of the run is rather uphill."
Rather?! What the heck is rather? I'll tell you what it is... it's 300meters in 3 miles. That's what it is. Every time we hit a hill in the first half, we thought, "Okay. This is it. Last one." We were dying to say, "It's all downhill from here." The last hill was a whopper, but we could see the 10K turn around point at the top. We ran the first half in 40 minutes and the 2nd half in 30 minutes. Not bad for two middle-aged moms that hadn't been training like they should. But we did it and it was SUCH a good feeling to cross that finish line in the first Olympic Stadium to the sound of Queen singing We Are The Champions! I'm so ready to do the Berlin Half Marathon in April now!
See the old man running next to us? He crossed the finish line ahead of us. *My* story is that he was only running the 5K. There was also a homeless man who joined in the last little bit and crossed the finish line. He was throwing a fit because they wouldn't put a medal around his neck. If I wasn't in such a fog and didn't realize what was going on, I would have given him mine.
We walked the 10 min. through the National Park back to our room, showered and were on the train back to the airport within an hour and a half of finishing. We were walking like two old women but we had HUGE smiles on our faces. It was like we had a big secret. People were looking at us like we were morons. lol.
We got to the airport early enough that we sat down for a leisurely lunch. When we pulled out our boarding passes the first time I noticed there wasn't a ticket on Pam's like mine. We figured it was just because we were traveling together. As we're in the LONG line for the security checks we realize our boarding call was ten min. early than we thought! Four minutes ago! Uh-oh. And everything had gone so smoothly up until then. So we get to the gate in the nick of time and they stop Pam because there's no ticket on her boarding pass! They made me get on the bus to the plane and they told Pam to go look for it. We told them we never had it but they didn't believe us. It was obvious she'd checked in and had it an hour before. Smart girl that she is she wouldn't leave the desk. They finally had to let her go. The flight took off fifteen minutes late because of it. Whew. We were wiping sweat off our brows as we looked at Athens disappearing below us.
I learned something though. It may have only been 6.2 miles... but those hills nearly did me in. I kept going because I had my friend by my side. We may not have finished first but we didn't finish last either. There were at least a hundred people behind us but they stopped the time at an hour and a half so we made it and I'm so proud of us.