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Greece 8 May: Farsala - Thermopiles

Right at the beginning of today we had the first meeting scheduled in Farsala. The mayor of the city and the local secondary school pupils were already eagerly awaiting us.

We met briefly with the mayor and ran about 100 meters with some of the kids. The mayor presented us with huge pieces of the local sweet; even by the end of the day we didn't manage to eat it all!

We continued running in the direction of Lamia. The landscape is quite striking: plains and fields as flat as a coin and then suddenly the mountains rise up steeply a few hundred meters in the air.

We struggled our way across the first mountain range and descended back down to the plain in which Lamia is situated.

In the distance we saw also the sea shining in the midday sun. The downhill running is actually much harder for your muscles than uphill although the latter takes maybe more energy. It takes some technique to prevent your upper legs from getting terribly sore.

After Lamia another mountain range was already awaiting us in the distance. In these mountains, at Thermopiles, a very famous battle between the Greeks and the Persians was fought more than 2000 years ago. A small group of Spartans, lead by Leonidas, defended the pass across the mountain range till the last man against a huge Persian army.

At the foot of the mountain we crossed a river with a nice waterfall and a beautiful view into a small canyon. We took the opportunity to take some nice pictures and dip our feet in the water, that was actually colder than expected.

From here we ran the last two stretches of today's run, along the old road to Athens. The road was going uphill and uphill for what seemed like forever, but the views were absolutely worth it in the end.

Tatiana from Slovenia made the most miles today, running over 24 km. She is training for a 100 km race in June and averages almost 20 km running a day! All together we did almost 100 km, not bad considering the mountains and hot temperatures.

Distance: 97km

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Hungary 8 May