A week after the Athens Marathon and all its history, I was in Istanbul for the only inter-continental marathon (that I am aware of). Clive, my mate who had been to Athens with me, was also along for the trip, having been to Albania in the week between the two and had a holiday. As with Athens, the first challenge was getting registered. Having flown in on the Friday afternoon I thought we had time to get to the registration from the hotel before it shut that evening. However, a longer than expected journey coupled with missing the poor signage to the expo building resulted in our arrival 4 minutes after last entry. (I wasn't alone in being refused). That night we picked up the breaking news of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
The next morning I had a short, 35 minute, run around Istanbul - actually crossing the finish line a day early as I encircled the Blue Mosque, and covered what would be the final 2 kilometres of the race and passing two other runners in Athens Marathon T-shirts - with a knowing nod and thinking I am clearly not alone in seeing the logic of doing both events in a week whilst in the "area"! Run done, breakfast eaten, it was then back to the Expo and this time I collected my race number etc. I was impressed to find it was only 6 numbers different to Athens - 1191 (Athens was 1197). I also found my name on the large display with all the marathon runners names - albeit I was near the top of a column making the photo a challenge. Clive had had a more chilled morning wondering around the Sultanahmet area, looking for the route and finish. We headed up there again later so I could show him and he had the chance to cross the finish line too - something he wouldn't repeat not being known for his running!