Running Gouves Crete, Jun 2015

Posted: 25th June 2015 by mockjogger in Running Away
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Early last week, I was considering a comeback race, my first since the Great North Run. Playing chicken with my Achilles over the last couple of weeks was working and I had logged a couple of 6 milers with no after-effects. So while the rest of the world was gathering for either the West Highland Way race or the Seven Hills of Edinburgh race, I had my sights on the slightly less challenging 10K Great Scottish Summer Run. But the comeback will have to wait, as instead of two loops of Holyrood Park, I found myself running along a beach at Gouves on the island of Crete.

Laura and Ceri, aka Valitsa Sisters are on an extended Greek island-hopping mission. They would be in Crete at the weekend. Easyjet had a direct flight. It was too good an opportunity to miss. I booked the flights, packed my flip flops, pulled on my new black Nike Free 4.0 Flyknits, a compromise between something I can travel in and something I can run in, and hit the airport. I would have packed more, but somehow my bag was filled with a girls-stuff wish list. Fortunately, security were easy on me, and I did not have to explain why.

After hooking up, the girls led me to the Sport Cafe Central in Gouves, which seems to be home away from home. There may have been beer. Yes, there was definitely beer. And other beer-like stuff. Next morning I woke up around 8.30. Breakfast until 10. There was time …

The hotel was right on the beach, and I headed left along a promenade. There were one or two other runners out there and I settled into a nice relaxed pace of about an hour per mile. When the promenade ended, I beached-up the Nike’s in loose sand until I hit about 1.5 miles. Then I turned, relaxed the pace further, and ran back. I reached the start point again with 3 miles on the Garmin and ran around for a bit longer until I clocked 3.1 miles, enough to count as the worlds slowest ever 5K.

Vague plans for more of the same never materialised, as excellent food, a challenging up / down beach bike journey to Hersonissos and the beach intervened. I think I might be the reigning pool champion at the Central, but the memories are kind of fuzzy.

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