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Earned my wing(s)

November 18th, 2009 by Thompson Lange

Now that the last of the 7 races is DONE, DONE, DONE, I’ve got to do the body disfiguring that I’ve long planned. Years ago I got a tattoo of a globe on the heel of my foot:

Globe Tattoo

(Probably too much information, huh?)

When I started on the “marathons on every continent” thing, I decided that one day I’d commemorate its completion by altering the globe and adding some sort of wing.  Trouble is, at this point I’m bonded with the tattoo the way it is and I don’t want to screw it up by picking badly. Plus, it’s kind of weird, but I’m commemorating a goal that went out with a wimper not a bang.

Race day started out with torrential rain making it hard to get through the Plaka with every street being a river. The apartment was well located, so I had THOUGHT it would be a breeze to make it to the buses that would carry me to Marathon.

Sidebar: I got really lucky with an online search for a vacation rental apartment in Athens. It was right in the middle of everything, and all I had to do was look out the windows to remember that I was in Greece. The Acropolis and the Agora were bigger than life right outside.
athens-apartment

Lucky it was pretty from INSIDE, ’cause the marathon itself wasn’t quite the romantic run through the Greek countryside I imagined. Of course, if I’d done even a TINY bit of googling, I’d have realized that the “original marathon course” is now a highway (that runs mostly uphill of all unfortunate things). Still, though, it DID have the best finish of all marathons I’ve done…running into Panathinaiko Stadium, the stadium from the first modern Olympics in 1896.

athens-olympic-stadium

But of course, these kind of marathons are always about the site-seeing for me, both during and after the marathon, so after drying off and resting up, my friend Joe and I hit the Aegean to see what there was to see.

Aegean Cruise

We were on a small”ish” boat, but despite the look in the Safety Officer’s eyes…

startled-safety-officer

…there wasn’t anything to be afraid of. But the food.

So now I’ve done it…cruised the Greek Islands and cruised to the finish of my 7 continent goal. Now all that’s left is inking it on my body. In Ephesus there was a carving of  the Goddess Nike.

nike-at-ephesus

She’s supposed to epitomize triumph, and while I’m too slow to say I’m triumphant as a runner, I AM “triumphant” in achieving a long-term goal.  So maybe I’ll let her (and not the shoe company…I wear Mizuno religiously) inspire the tattoo-metamorphosis. There was a carved block in Ephesus with a Nike wing that MIGHT work well wrapped around the globe:

nike-wing-relic-at-ephesus

It would be kinda cool, I think, to have the wing that commemorates the run come from the trip that completed the goal.