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How I fell in love with Rhodes

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Athlete

05/4/2016
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Rhodes holds a very special place in my heart! It was the reason why I got into long distance running and decided to compete in order to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

My participation in the second Rhodes marathon was one of the most beautiful moments in my sporting career, a wonderful route by the sea on a wonderful island with very hospitable people that embraced me from the first moment and gave me lots of support and encouragement! Who could ask for more?

Now that I have qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio, I train on Rhodes, on this magnificent island that fills me with energy. I made a conscious decision to train here and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Something strong binds me to this island.

Ever since my preparation for the Berlin Marathon, I have been coming here every other weekend to run long distances. I always choose routes along the coastline. I like letting my eyes wander to the endless blue of the Aegean; it’s the kind of view that a runner finds restful. When I run on Rhodes I feel liberated. It’s an incomparable feeling I’ve never felt anywhere else.

I have never actually been to Rhodes as a tourist. Unfortunately my duties and intensive preparation for the Rio Games, will not allow me a break this year. When I do finally manage to go on holiday, however, I will choose one of the villages to the south of the island, where the style is truly authentic. When on holiday, I want to drop the pace, enjoy the sun and the sea and charge my batteries so I can return to my training with new energy. I look forward to the moment I step onto the beaches of Southern Rhodes.

Best moment on Rhodes

Most definitely my top experience on Rhodes was crossing the finishing line in the second Marathon and the fact that I came very close to qualifying for the Rio Olympics. This moment is etched deep in my memory. People encouraged me and cheered me on and I felt as if I were on the island where I come from, Leros, with my own people, friends and acquaintances around me. When I cut the finishing tape I felt very emotional. The people of Rhodes have embraced the sport of running and this is really positive.

I think that this year’s Marathon route, passing by all the unique monuments of Rhodes and along the Aegean coastline, is very special… it is an experience well worth living, it will be truly unique

My favourite spots on Rhodes

There are three spots in particular that I single out on Rhodes and I never miss a chance to visit. I love watching the sunset from Monte Smith. Walks with a sea view are amazing.

On the beach near the aquarium I always feel like I am facing infinity. The endlessness of the Aegean imparts a sense of freedom on me, it rests the spirit.

I get a very special feeling by the Holy Temple of the Annunciation and the Mandraki Harbour Deer, where statues of these wonderful creatures mark the spot where the famous Colossus was said to have once stood.  Right there you can get a strong feeling of the vibrations of the great history and culture of Rhodes. When I am there it is as if I am not on an island but in a big European city…

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