As runners, we have the amazing and unique opportunity to see a lot of various towns, cities, and countrysides from the best possible angle – on the ground. We all run in interesting places at times and it is always nice to snap some photos of what we see and take in the beauty of the landscape or cityscape. In that spirit, I am going to start doing some posts of various places that I might run and photos of what I see on the way. If you would like, send me your cities and photos as well for others to see and so we all know what to look for when we run in those places!
On the Run: Thessaloniki
I have been in Thessaloniki for a little while now and find most of my runs taking place on the same road all the time. Part of that is the elevation and terrain – the other part is the driving and traffic. I have been in places with crazy driving and Greece definitely ranks up there near the top! I have already had three different people hit my car in minor accidents and had one person back into me when running!
But enough of that! Thessaloniki really is a beautiful city with a lot to see and enjoy in the city and the surrounding areas. Just recently, they opened the boardwalk along the Aegean that stretches from the Thessaloniki Concert Hall all the way to the shipping pier past the White Tower. It is about 3 miles and makes a great surface area for speedwork (provided the wind is not too stiff), especially when there are other runners out. 🙂 My competitive self always picks up the speed when I see someone ahead of me!
Today, I had a 18 mile long run that took me through some beautiful areas. Near mile 10 was a significant hill – the kind that you just think about running down later. 🙂 From the top, it was a nice view of the airport and the sea. It was really just a gorgeous day to be out on the run. The temperature in the afternoon was around 50s with minimal wind.
I have really come to love the long run more and more, especially in my current training schedule. I have a fair amount of speedwork as I prepare for Dubai so the long run is really the time that I get to just slow the pace down and enjoy myself for a couple of hours. Plus, when you do long runs that are out and back, you really get to see somethings that you may miss when you are driving all the time. I have been over these roads dozens of times in the car but really enjoyed running the extra distance today and seeing so much on foot. Not all my long runs have been like that – I did a 40 mile training run with a friend of mine one time on the course we were going to race. The course was a 1/2 mile loop! 🙂 Not the best type of place to run for scenery for 6 hours!
I will have a race review of the Thessaloniki Half Marathon in a week or so, but for now just know that Thessaloniki (and Northern Greece) is really a pretty place with some very nice people. Should you find yourself in this part of the world sometime, let me know and we can get together for a run!