Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Transformation -> Understanding

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Our Companions in Greece

We were very fortunate to travel in Greece with a wonderful group of people connected to the Texas Exes, the UT alumni association.

An impromptu 51st anniversary celebration on an Athenian sidewalk
Our traveling companions at Philippi. Who's the guy way back by the trees? 
Mom explaining her dietary restrictions to the chef. Can you see the sheen of the olive oil in all the pots? 
 At the Athenian Acropolis
 The Texas Exes at the Parthenon

 Texas Exes at Corinth
 At Mycenae
At Nafplio 

Saturday, June 01, 2013

In the Footsteps of Pheidippides

I had the idea to run the original marathon while in Greece, so we made arrangements for hotels and a driver when we booked our trip. Our driver, an Athenian named Sotos, picked us up on Thursday in Athens and drove us to Marathon. We asked him to drive the marathon route so that I could survey the course. As we navigated downtown Athens, it became apparent that running through the city would not be practical during the day because of the traffic. The only way to run the last 10 miles of the course would be to run in the middle of the night or very early in the morning. So we modified the plan on the way to Marathon - Friday morning, I would run from Marathon to the edge of Athens and then Sunday morning I would run the last ten miles through downtown Athens.

Friday morning, near Marathon

The official race course was marked by a blue line painted on the street

To my left was the Aegean. As I ran along the asphalt road, I imagined the Athenian soldiers in their armor, running back to Athens after crushing the Persians at Marathon.

Marathon was relatively rural, but it became more urban with every step toward Athens.

This was 16 miles into the run, right on the edge of Athens, at about 8AM. You can see the blue line in the street, near the white stripes, and the traffic building. This is where I called it a day.

Friday's run
A fast runner statue on the course route, inside Athens.

Sunday morning I returned to the edge of Athens and finished the run in relatively light traffic.

The street sweepers have the same idea - operate Sunday morning before the traffic.

I finished the run with a lap around the olympic stadium in downtown Athens.

We do more before 6AM than most people do all day.

Sunday's run, ending at the olympic stadium.
Already embellishing my accomplishment with our wonderful driver Sotos. When he saw how much I sweat, he feared for the leather seats in his Mercedes and dried me off with paper towels.

Thanks to Mom and Dad for cheering me on and taking these photos.

I did the first 16 miles, all uphill, in 2 hours and 45 minutes. I did the last 10 miles in an hour and a half. It was a very comfortable run, so no deathly drama like Pheidippides.