Yesterday, as I finished jogging/walking my first 8K race ever, I felt like superwoman.
This past week started with a major low after breaking my nose and ended yesterday on a super high. Yesterday morning, I participated in the 8k run as part of the 34th Istanbul Eurasia Marathon (Istanbul Avrasya Maratonu). It was an exhilarating day!
The marathon is the only time in Istanbul when the Bosphorus Bridge is closed to traffic and open to people on foot as it is normally illegal to walk across the bridge. This intercontinental event starts on the Asian side of Istanbul, crosses the bridge, goes through my neighborhood of Beşiktaş, along the shore road past Dolmabahçe Palace and eventually ends in historic Sultanahmet.
|Participants of the 2102 Istanbul Eurasia Marathon starting on the Asian side |
right before the Bosphorus Bridge.
There was no way I was going to miss this event this year having signed up way back in July! (My doctor gave me permission to participate despite the broken nose, and I return again tomorrow for another doctor check up. My nose seems to be healing nicely.)
My husband ran the 15K with one of our Turkish friends and finished in Sultanahmet. I started off behind him with one of my expat friends who jogged alongside me for the whole 8K. After the race, I walked another 3K across the Galata Bridge to meet my husband at the finish line in Sultanahmet.
But, my girlfriend and I often stopped to take photos especially as we crossed the Bosphorus Bridge. I didn't care about my race timing. I just wanted to cross the finish line and enjoy myself along the way.
One thing I need to mention that I was quite impressed with is the city's organization of this huge event. Runners could leave their bags on numbered buses and retrieve them later. As we ran, there were several water stations, and later even volunteers handing out cool sponges and apples. At the end, we were all given medals and goodie bags with juice boxes, a banana and a chocolate bar. Apparently, the race has gained more sponsorships over the years as it has gained popularity.
Crossing the Bosphorus Bridge, admiring this enchanting city and completing the 8K race are definitely some of the top highlights of my expat life in Istanbul!
Here are several photos that I took with my cell phone during the 2012 Istanbul Eurasia Marathon:
|Hundreds of red and blue balloons were let go into Istanbul skies.|
|These cute Turkish kids were doing the "Gangnam Style" dance before the start of the race.|
It was hilarious to watch!
|This is where I started the 8K race in Istanbul.|
|I took this photo as I crossed the Bosphorus Bridge looking back onto the Asian side of the city.|
|My friend took this photo of me so I could prove that yes, I did participate in the 8k.|
|A view of Istanbul as we crossed the Bosphorus Bridge.|
|Runners going down Barbaros Blvd. in Istanbul surrounded by the beautiful fall trees.|
|As we passed by the Dolmabahçe Palace at 10 a.m., we saw the changing of the guards here.|
|Here's a runner completing the 15k just after he passed the Ayasofya in Sultanahmet.|
What an amazing sight!
|Energetic Turkish musicians revved up the crowd in Sultanahmet.|
Click here to see a video clip of the marathon celebrations in Sulanahmet.