May 16, 2013

Distance today = 39.82 km; Total distance = 21,008.14 km; Location = Istanbul – 40 58.591′ N, 28 52.951′ E; Start time = 0849, Finish time = 1522


Wow, what a day of milestones. Not only did I complete my run across Europe, the third of four continents I will traverse on my run around the world, but I also passed 21,000 km AND I passed the 80% completion mark. And, of course, that’s also three continents that Carmel has driven across – what a brilliant support crew!

The weather was beautiful again, especially with the sea breeze off the water. The road was very busy, but I had to expect that from a city with a population (so I’ve been told) of 18 million – the largest in Europe. I must say, Istanbul has grown significantly in the twenty seven years since I was here last. It is huge!

Amazingly, I was passed three times today by the four French cyclists I had run into a few days ago. I guess that’s what happens when you’re all heading in the same direction. Carmel snapped some photos of them as they went by her.

Despite the run being very close to the sea all day, it was also very hilly. The last part flattened out, which Barry appreciated, as he ran the final 14 km with me. That means he has completed exactly 100 km with me over the past 11 days from Sofia. Not bad for a previous non-runner (although I’ve seen him do a lot of running on the touch football field and tennis court). Well done, Barry.

We now need to deliver the car back to Munich before we can leave Europe. The plan is to have a look around Istanbul tomorrow, then take a few days to drive the car the 2,000 km to Munich, then fly to Kuala Lumpur for the short Asian leg. For those who are unaware, the rules state I need to run across at least four continents from “ocean to ocean”. My four are North and South America, Europe, and Australia. However, I want to do at least some running in Asia, so I will trek from KL to Singapore, prior to running across Australia.

I will be starting in KL on May 23, but will occasionally update the blog with relevant information in the interim. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, we’re about to crack the champagne.