March 11th, 2010

Towards Realizing the Athens Dream :)

The dream of participating in Athens Classic Marathon is becoming real. Registration opened last night. And, I am sure, I am one of the first few 100s to register.

I have been waiting for March 10th for the past one week, as the organizers replied very politely to my inquiry that registrations would open on 10th. Somebody on IIT runners group said that registrations would get over in 5 to 8 hours (though they open registrations more than 6 months before the event). I was really worried about time zone issues. What if they open at our mid-night and registrations get over by our day ? (: I had spent almost a sleepless night on 9th by registering a few times in dreams, only to wake up on 10th and to find that the link was not yet open. On 10th, I had refreshed my browser innumerable times at work, but in vain. The link was enabled only after our midnight on 10th. Last night, I kept my modem on and laptop in stand-by mode to check whenever I wake up. I woke up at 5 AM, and yeah ! the link is enabled. Registered immediately and did a small Katahkali, which woke up my brother sleeping in the next room (who couldn't sleep after that, and switched on his laptop too). Tried to sleep for one more hour, as my regular wake up time is 6 AM, though I couldn't (obviously).

Dilip, who has experience with International Youth Hostels, suggested me to try for accommodation in them. So, I booked a 5 night accommodation in a Youth Hostel, around the marathon date in Athens. On hearing all this, Dilip jumped with joy, and after 5 minutes, I did yet another registration for him, both for Marathon and Youth Hostel accommodation :)

Now, I have a partner too, end-to-end. This is going to be the greatest trip for me, so far. Oh ! I can't wait for 233 days, 23 hours (count down shown in the marathon website, as I type this). But, to meet my sub-5 hour deadline, in that hilly stretch, I need that much time to prepare. So, the next step is a meticulous day-to-day plan for the next 230 days.