Rewind back to 2008, my roommate Carlos suggested to our running circle of friends, that we should all do the Athens Marathon 2009. So many of us were so down to do it and excited, but plans fell through. In 2009, we noticed that the 2010 Athens Classic was going to be a special milestone race, 2,500th Anniversary of the original Battle of Marathon. Sold! I was NOT about to miss this one! Once they announced the next Athens Classic, Carlos and I e-mailed the planning organization of the event and got details. We kept going back to the site to see when registration would open. We would always keep tabs and update each other on the status. It wasn’t a few months later that they opened it, and we were one of the first to register! We didn’t care if we didn’t have a plane ticket or plans for hotels or hostels yet, we figured we’ll get that later. We started a Facebook Group to gain interest, and we had a good 40 or so people interested, but in the end, there were 10. The ten consisted of me and Carlos’ mutual friends from past Team in Training teams and friends of friends. We kept in touch via a more filtered e-mail group of the runners 100%. From there we shared our travel plans, travel deals and tips. We all had different room situations and different flight schedules, but I thought planning of everything went smoothly.
Fast forward to last weekend. Wow, I can’t believe a week already has passed since the big race. I flew via Lufthansa to Germany for a layover. It was delayed a an hour or so though, so I didn’t get to Greece until after midnight! Ok, super late at a country very unknown to me, wasn’t very ideal. This was where I should’ve had my little folder of fun and preparations could have been better. I took a $50 cab ride because I had no idea how iffy the busses or trains were. I didn’t understand any writing or signs, so I played it safe. I also had to make sure the cab wasn’t trying to rip me off either. I didn’t get to my hostel until 1ish. Our hostel situation was sweet at Athens Backpackers, as it was one of the highest rated hostels on Hostelworld.com, super clean, friendly staff, and we were able to meet so many people as they shuffled us around room to room. The first day my roomies were a bunch of girls from Milwaukee who didn’t get to the room until 4am. Super fun bunch, but they had to leave.