Monday, November 12, 2012

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.

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BacktoBodrum said...

Congratulations: first on running 8kms and secondly on doing it with a broken nose.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

way to go joy! isn't it the best feeling? i used to run 5k's and did a marathon. nothing like pumping out those endorphins!

Joy said...

@BacktoBodrum, thanks so much! I'm so happy I was able to participate in the race!

Joy said...

@Joyce, it was an amazing feeling! I was so pumped up afterwards that I definitely want to start running more often. 8k is a good enough goal for me. Kudos for completing a marathon though! Wow!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I'm sure you feel great. It is a beautiful place for a race. And way to go on the beautiful shots while running!

Joy said...

@Terry, thanks so much! Sorry your hubby missed it this year. I'd definitely recommend the run for next year! There's even an 8k fun run/walk which starts after the 8k I did.

Unknown said...

Wow - what an amazing place for a race. Congrats on running with a broken nose - sounds painful - I hope it wasn't. I love running races, after I cross the finish line I feel like I have a free pass to eat all the sweets I want. :-)

Joy said...

@Turklish, if you ever wanted to plan a trip around a race, Istanbul is THE place to be! Nose isn't feeling too bad now. Back to the doctor again tomorrow. :-)

Unknown said...

You got great pics with your cell phone! It's good to see how it looked on the bridge. I definitely want to do the 8km next year. I excused myself because of baby Neve and then saw two women from my baby group jogging past!! Well done on not making your nose a (valid) excuse. I am imagining you could feel it with every footfall though? Hope you are feeling much better and basking in your victory.

Joy said...

@Julia, not bad photos with the cell phone plus I played around the with contrast/highlights when I edited them. :-) The kids are a valid excuse too, but next year you could do the race all together as a family. Something to look forward too.

Erica (Irene) said...

Congrats!!! on your 8K run....Kudos for completing it and with a sore nose...hope all is well with you. :-)

Julia said...

Well done on doing the run, what with your nose and everything! ;) Good to hear there's more sponsorship now because the 8k runners got no refreshment at all along the way when I did it two years ago. That's why I plumped for the 15k last year. The atmosphere looks really jovial too (it was cold and wet last year) so we're definitely going to take part in the 2013 run!! :)

Joy said...

@Erica (Irene) and Julia, thank you! Yes, it appears the whole run has gotten more popular, and the city wants to make it one of the world's golden marathons. More sponsors = better t-shirts, drinks and more. Yay!

Jason said...

The whole thing was a good time, although there were a few times I thought about walking during the 15k. If you think you can handle it, I recommend the 15k as it is very scenic and how can you not love the finish in Sultanahmet (aside from it being largely uphill).

Unknown said...

I'm a Turk born in Istanbul, living in Istanbul and I don't have a photo of me taken on the Bosphorus bridge yet!

Great blog! Will definately advice it to my foreign friends who are living here. :)

Joy said...

@Kerem, thank you! I highly recommend doing the 8k as it's fairly easy even if you only want to walk it! :)That way you can get your photo on the bridge!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the advice! Hopefully this year I will have my belated photo. :) It's a shame that they closed the bridge to public after a short period of time because of the jumpers. Can't imagine Golden Gate bridge getting closed to public as a result of jumpers.

Some decisions just don't make sense.

All the best...