Runtalya: Team Spirit
Antalya is a city that offers beautiful beaches, stunning waterfalls, and excellent parks. In addition, the city hosts events such as film festival, bicycling, concerts, theatrical plays, water sports, cross-country motorcycling, marathons, and much more.
Last month, Runtalya was hosted in Antalya. Remembering days when I would participate in running events in the USA, I was excited to see such an event in Antalya.
Runtalya is an organized running event held every March. Competitors have said they love this event because it is located in the beautiful city of Antalya with gorgeous views of the Mediterranean coastline.
Runtalya started in 2006 with just 850 participants. Today, 10,000 participants from over 16 different countries participate in the event. Runtalya offers a 42K, 21K, and 10K course. In addition, on Sunday, a course is designed for those with disabilities also can compete. In addition, a few fun runs like the High Hells Run, and a Kids Run is held on Saturday.
This 3-day sports festival offers amateurs to pro runners a fun-packed weekend for the entire family to enjoy.
Forming A Team
After reading about this event, I quickly reached out to my friends, Ulkar, Arielle, Yuko, Firuz, and Hannah, to see if they would be interested in running as a team in the 10K. They all agreed!
Since most of us are not runners, we decided to make the best of this by agreeing we would all jog/walk the race. Next, we need to come up with a team name. The suggested team name became “Kiss My Assphalt.”
Now that the team is registered and the t-shirts ordered, it was time to get busy training.
Training for the Run
Registering a month before the race, we thought it would give us plenty of time to get in shape. But combined with rain, frigid temperatures, and one team member getting covid, NO ONE TRAINED!
March 6th – Day of the Event
Rising early Sunday morning on March 6th, picking up few of our team members, we drove to Atatürk Kültür Park- Glass Pyramid, the starting point of the race. Temperatures were a little cool, but I think we were more concerned about our abilities to complete the10K than the temperature. We joked and laughed about our capabilities to finish while assuring each other that we would stick together.
As we entered the park, music played loudly, and a warm-up session was being performed for those more serious runners. We hopped in, stretching, warming up our bodies as we danced to the music. I could tell we were going to have a blast!
Photo-Op with the Mayor
While waiting for the horn to kick off the race, we notice Mr. Ümit Uysal, the Mayor of Antalya walking around shaking hands, greeting people. Omar was eager to meet him, so he encouraged us to walk over and shake his hand. We quickly formed around the Mayor and took a picture.
As the horn blew, we began to jog with the crowd of runners, laughing and joking about how fast we would finish. Our confidence grew as we began to pass slower runners on the course. Throughout the course, bands entertained the crowd (and runners) with music. We would dance and giggle as we got our groove on during the race. Cheer squads, marching school bands, and fans encouraged us along the way, making us forget about the distance we had remaining to finish.
As we passed the more serious runners heading to the finish line, we cheered with words of encouragement for their hard work and determination!
It was so much fun being with friends, chatting, laughing, and enjoying our time together.
We Crossed the Finish Line! Not sure about our time, but we completed the race in great spirit!
Everyone walked away a WINNER!
After receiving a medal for our efforts, we walked over to the after-party, checking out vendors selling running gear, energy drinks, and promoting other running events in Turkey. Live music, food, and an awards ceremony to acknowledge the top runners.
TIME TO EAT
After exerting all that energy in the run, it was time to EAT! So Omar and I decided to take our team to Big Chef’s to enjoy a delicious Turkish breakfast. The food was heavenly, but the fellowship was even better!
If you love running, Antalya is a great place to enjoy running. The city offers padded running trails that skirt the coastline, giving you a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. But I must say, the best part of a running event in Antalya is the magnificent view!
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.
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