We have had a wonderful week in Symi, Greece. It was indeed a long journey from Argentina, but well worth the trip. Sekyen and I had the chance to take a boat ride around the entire island on Wednesday. The beach and cliffs of St. George were breathtaking. However, I paid for my day of swimming around in the cool crystal clear waters as I had developed a head cold/fever and spent the day before the race just resting. I did walk with the group wheeling out the course and setting up the 1/4 mile markers. This gave me good information to visualize the race over and over as I rested. Being a bit under the weather, I really focused on the task at hand and did not get “lost” in the middle of the race as in Argentina, because I knew where I was at all times. I also took advantage of two downhill spots on this course enabling me to run a 4:29.02. In the past, I have floated on some downhill portions, but today I attacked thinking I need every second before the altitude of Jos, Nigeria. The photo above at the end of the race with me from l to r: Austin Moench (who participated in the race with me as he is on the island for a summer internship with a local doctor), Deputy Mayor Haskas, Symi Visitor sponsor Wendy Wilcox and Dominic Lillicrap.
The video below shows our journey into Athens and Symi, a bit of the race (sorry for the shaky footage), and our cooldown through Tilos Harbor:
It was a special race as the Deputy Mayor of Symi, Ilias Haskas, who I met in Tarpon Springs in 2008. He traveled to Tarpon Springs, FL to establish a sister city connection between Symi and Tarpon Springs. On that evening, I promised the Mayor of Tarpon Springs and Deputy Mayor of Symi that I would take www.OneMileRunner.com to Symi in the next couple of years. So here we are two years later fulfilling our commitment to the sister city connection through athletic and cultural exchanges. Many thanks to Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accomodation www.symivisitor.com, for setting everything up for this European stop. She worked magic on the island during our few days here. Thanks to Nicholas Shum who was the race director for the Symi Mile – he did a great job getting everyone positioned in the correct places so the race went off smoothly. Thanks to Michalis and Fiona Nalkitis (in the photo below) and their son Nick as our hotel sponsor from Hotel Fiona.
We are departing this afternoon after the race as we will catch the boat back to Rhodes and then fly back to Athens for the night before departing the next day for Amsterdam. We fly to Abuja, Nigeria on the 19th evening as we have a speaking presentation on the 23rd and the race in Jos, Nigeria on the 24th.