“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro
“I realize that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself”
Here we go again… 3rd weekend race in a row…
I owe a lot to Istanbul Marathon… Back in 2010, me and my university friend Zeynep registered for 8K public run in Istanbul Marathon. Just to cross the bridge as a pedestrian. (The day of the marathon is the only day Bosphorus Bridge is closed to traffic and you can actually walk/run from Asia to Europe!).
That day I realized how good (or shall I say great?) running felt. Not just running but also running together with thousands of people! Cheering for each other, supporting and motivating each other!
Since then, I have been running. However until 2013 September, I used to run without timing myself or setting a specific target. Since last September, I started taking things slightly more serious. This included regular trainings in Ankara with @ankarakosuyor team, interval trainings once a week, spinning and yoga classes from time to time and more races.
Suddenly I realized how much one can improve herself with regular training and dedication. What also helped me a a lot is to have such a nice running group in Ankara. Training as a team, sharing experiences with each other, joining races together…
When the day for the Istanbul Marathon arrived, this time I had a target in my mind. I was going to run 15K and I wanted to run it in less than 1:20 minutes. The week before istanbul Marathon I was in Athens running 10K, and the week before that was Büyükada Run (11.2K). I felt good after both of these races and realized that actually I could push myself more. So, I said 1:20min – which would require an average pace of 5’20 min/km.
Long story short, yes I did it! I reached my target!
Final result: 1:18:00 with average pace 5’12 min/km.
I came 45th among 900 Turkish female participants and 107th among nearly 1700 females in total.
Thanks to two special guys which were great pacemakers for me throughout the run! They both ran their first marathon in Istanbul and did a great job! As if thats not enough, they were me and @kosukadini ‘s pacemakers until 13K (where 15K runners turned back and marathoners continued). These guys didn’t only ran with me but also motivated me throughout the run, kept me going and going when the last kilometers (between 10-13) felt never ending. Moreover, they even took water for me from all the water stations! Finally, they gave me the strength to run my final 2K and finish the race achieving my personal best.
Sometimes, one needs others to get the best out of her/him. A trigger, a push from outside that eventually helps you to realize your true potential.
I had a great “time” in 2014 Istanbul Marathon. Proud of myself, proud of the @ankarakosuyor team and proud of all other 25.000 runners taking part.
When one crosses the finish line, s/he immediately looks for familiar faces, in order to congratulate each other, share their unique joy. I was lucky to come across these two special guys from the Unlimited Academy team! We first met in Afyon in September 2013 during Frig Vadileri Ultramarathon. They were the event organizers and I was a 30K run participant. In Istanbul, we met again! Hope to meet you guys again sometime soon! (I will joini the next Unlimited Academy event with my bag #14950!)
To my international friends planning to visit Istanbul, Turkey – if you feel like walking/running from Asia to Europe and experience this day, mark your calendar for 15 November 2015 Istanbul Marathn! I will be there! (Who knows maybe this time for full marathon?)
Brief info about the 15K race course: the start line is 250 meters away from the Bosphorus Bridge. After passing the bridge, you go down from Barbaros Boulevard to Besiktas, and then follow the coastal road until you reach Karakoy. 15K runners return in front of the Yusuf Şücaattin Anbari Mosque in Balat (where marathoners continue straight). Finish line is in front of Istanbul Commerce University in Eminönü.
With this race, I finished the race season for 2014. Hope to join more races in 2015 and improve myself 😉 Time to set a new target for 2015 Antalya Half Marathon!