Thursday, September 25, 2008
(pic: lunch - Lisa, Tim, Glenn, Allison)
I got my race packet and number (#228) and I'm ready to roll! We had a perfect pre-race meal packed with good energy for the race.
Just a few stories for fun:
We rented a car when we arrived in Athens. We were automatically upgraded to this Mercedes. Most of the cars here are very small. Lots of Smart Cars. We needed the room. It drives very nice.
(pic: Megara, where Euclid invented geometry. A bit of triva from Tim the mathematician)
We drove the course from Athens to Sparta and used up all our gas. We were literally driving on empty for say, oh about 50 miles. All the gas stations (at 1:30 am) turned us away. "No gas." they said. Hm. Fortunately, we made it back to the hotel on the fumes.
The next day, the one gas station near where we are staying had a long 4-block line. Huh?! Tim dropped Glenn and I off at the orthopedic store (where I should own stock by now) and he went to go wait in line. While at the store, we asked the very friendly and helpful salesperson about the gas. "On strike" she said. "As usual....should be over in a day or two." Oh crap, we hoped Tim would be ok.
Well, as it turned out, he ran out of gas. The car sputtered once and petered out in the middle of the busy road. Have you seen how the cars drive in Athens!?! He feared for his life and he had no choice but to push the car up on the center median. He walked to the gas station - the one with the LONG line - and was able to get a very small amount of gas. He made a funnel out of a plastic water bottle and went back to the car, surprised it was still there and not hit. He had just enough gas to get back to the station to fill up (after waiting in the long line). There was no fighting or panicking, so I presume they are used to this kind of thing here.
(pic: Piotr, who last year ran from Poland to the Spartathlon, 3000 km. He's back for more this year.)
(pic: Piotr Kurylo and his brother Pawel ran from Poland to Athens to run the Spartathlon. These are their carts they towed.)
The weather is supposed to be good. High 70s, cloud cover later and mid 70s on Saturday.
This year there is a SPARTATHLON LIVE UPDATE on the website! They will be updating the runners' status from the 10 major checkpoints.
I'm off to try to get some sleep.
Best of luck to all the runners and their support crews!