Running a Marathon- Istanbul Style

We purposely aligned our Turkey trip with the Istanbul Marathon- neither Cale nor I are in marathon shape but we signed up for the 15k and 10k options, respectively.  We luckily met another runner at our hostel, Natalia, who we teamed up with to get to the race convention the day before, make it to the starting line on time, etc.  Nati is an ultra-marathon runner so way out of our league, and she ran the full. It was so fun to hang out together for our few days in Istanbul!

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Obligatory photos of Istanbul. This is Aya Sofia.

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Inside Aya Sofia: note the symbols on either side translate to Mohammed and Allah, and then the figures in the middle are Jesus and Mary. All living together in perfect harmony!

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Blue Mosque, as seen from the window of Aya Sofia.

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Blue Mosque

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Blue Mosque

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Underground Cisterns

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Fishing poles in Istanbul

The race convention was a zoo and none of the signage was in English, so I’m still not sure how we successfully signed up, paid, and retrieved our race packets. Luckily Nati had thought ahead and knew from the website where we needed to be the following morning to catch a bus to the starting line.

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Photo courtesy of Nati Castaneda. This is us pushing our way to the front to catch one of the busses. Oh yeah, Nati, I stole two of your photos and posted them here without asking. I hope that’s ok 😉

Note to future Istanbul Marathon runners: don’t do it! Or rather, don’t do it if you care about your time and sanity!  Do run it if you prefer to run marathons and take selfies at the same time. Imagine thousands of people (see below) signing up for the race, pushing to the front, and hearing the starting gun go off… and then starting to walk, pausing every so often to take a photo of themselves.  Seriously, I almost tripped over so many people who decided to stop and take a selfie in the middle of the crowded course.

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Again, photo courtesy of Nati! This is the starting line, the bridge over the Bosphorus is up ahead.

Ok ok, I’ll admit, if I had my phone with me I probably would have done it too! The Istanbul marathon is the only race to span two continents! What a photo opp!  It starts on the Asian side of Istanbul and ends on the European side.  And you get to run the bridge over the Bosphorus, which is quite a site.

Next on our list: a red-eye via Dubai to… Taiwan!

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