Greece: Votsalakia (Samos) Runaround

Me and The Girl went on holiday to the Greek island Samos. We stayed at a nice apartment with a beautiful ocean view.
Although the holiday was mainly about relaxing, there are still some workouts to be done.

Our place was on a small hill between Votsalakia and MarathoKampos. The goal was a 45 minute run at higher pace. So I opted for a simple one way and back route. Especially since Votsalakia consists of a big main road, as you can see on the map below.

 

The first part is easy, a nice downhill with some hairpin turns. Within the first few 100 meters you would drop around 50 meters. A tough section to top off the training for today when I get back.

 

Not long after you encounter the first structure of the village. This building is not yet completed, but it has a small memorial sign in front of it. In Greece mostly used to indicate fatal accidents on roads. Not sure if the two are related in this case.

On the left side there is a small bay with a beach. A small gravely path leads up to it. A few days later they organized it and put up some beach chairs and parasols.

 

Next up along the road are some fields where locals are growing some fruits and vegetables. Some small houses and supermarkets.
Each house looking better then the other.

 

We are in the low season, and because of the economic difficulties of the country, tourism dropped for this island. Because of this you could see sites like this:

Restaurants or bars not opened yet, or still preparing for the later high season. Others are making the best of it and are open, in expectation of the various tourists (like us) that did show up.

Now we left the major part of the town behind us. Next up is an intersection, which eventually leads up higher in the mountains to the caves where the Pythagoras lived. A famous philosopher and mathematician. Not long after it was time for me to turn around and head back.

Ofcourse I couldn’t stop with taking a selfie at the turn around point.

Race Report: Loko Run 3/6

My triathlon club organizes a running competition, sponsored by Loko. The competition works like this: every month there will be a running event. 6 months in a row. Course and distances are the same. Which are: for Children 1 km/2.5 km and for adults: 5 km/10 km. At the end of the competition, your best 3 races count towards your result.

The first two races I didn’t participate. As how I got to this race? That was pretty quickly arranged, thanks to The Girl.

Yesterday we were paying her brother a visit. We just left from our place when I remembered that there would be a race the next day, which I wanted to take part in. As The Girl likes to take action, she simply registered me using her mobile phone. With that, my plans for today were set.

This morning I got up quite early to make way to the start line. Everyone would meet up at a small beach cafe, where the start and finish would be. Laps were 5K in distance, and the 10K would simply be two laps. Yesterday evening I had some communication with my trainer, to discuss my race plan. As there was no tapering whatsoever. The plan would simply be: negative split. Start at an easy pace and when feeling comfortable in lap two, go faster. Another reason for this was the slight issue I had with my hamstring before. It was slightly strained, and only recently recovered from that.

As all the kids came in from there races, it was time for the 5 and 10K to start. We would start at the same time. which gives a strange dimension to the race. As you know at the start of the race, people tend to start way to fast, and you gather them within the first few K’s. But now, they could very well only be running the 5K instead of the 10. I only thought of this just after the start. My position was quite far in the back when the race started, and I quickly gained a lot of places, at least, I hoped so, as I had no clue if I was racing them or not. Either way, after the first K my watched beeped, and I checked out the time it took me to cover the first kilometre. 4.36 it was. This was way faster then I imagined before the race. And this popped a little doubt in my head, wondering if I could maintain this for the entire race.

Either way, as I felt good, I figured I would try to maintain it as long as I could. The course partially overlapped the course of the Zeewolde Endurance race, which I did before. Around km marker 4, I caught up a girl, and heard her saying to the crowd she was 4th in the women’s race. A quick question later learned me that she was running the 5K. So on I went and just like that I entered lap 2/2. I still felt good so I kept maintaining my pace, clicked off some more people, mostly not from my age group.

Around km marker 7, I passed a couple and a few 100 meters before them, there was another guy. I decided to use him as a pointer to run to. Hopefully, I would be able to catch him, so I slightly increased my pace, as there was just 3 K’s left to run. Sure enough, I came closer and closer. Spectators even told me: oh you got something left in the tank. Keep it up! Around K 8 or 9 it was reduced to about 40-50 meters. A few 100 metres before the finish line there is a small uphill, as we have to climb the dyke. Then run down the other side. At the small incline, I sped up once again, closing the cap to right behind him. On the short downhill, I ran a bit wider angle through the right hand turn to pass him, starting a straight sprint to the finish, he was gone. Short after crossing the finish line I gathered my stuff, and went for a cool down run back to my house.

This afternoon I checked the website, and noticed my final time. 45.51! A new PR by far.