Tuesday 17 April 2012

Marmaris - Turkey

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A view across Marmaris and the bay, I managed to capture this during a rare moment when there was no rain!
Okay so upon arriving I realised why I managed to get such a cheap deal. Turns out it can rain A LOT in Turkey!
This planned sunbathing relaxing holiday quickly turned into a running trip. It was lucky I had backed my trainers and some jumpers as they saw more action then the sun cream and swimming trunks!
In its defence, it was April so out of season, but with a high of 16C for the week I had hoped for slightly better. It didn't help that the one meal we ate out of the hotel (all inclusive you see) led to all four of us spending the evening getting to know our toilets very well from both ends (sorry ladies).
As with most holiday resorts out of season, there always seem to be a stange atmosphere, a bit like turning up to a party an hour early. Very few people and nothing is quite finished.
From the hotel, located on 186 Street (all minor roads are just numbered, no names) I headed south towards the bay which leads to the Mediterranian Sea along 164th Street.
Marmaris is set amongst the mountains so everything slopes quite sharply towards the water, meaning a nice gentle downhill start to the run, which obviously means a steep hill to climb to finish.

The only major road to cross was Kemel Seyfettin Elgin Boulevard but the traffic was minimal for reasons mentioned above, so this was not an issue. From there I got to imagine how pretty the area would be when it actually saw the sun, as there were dramatic views out to see of mountains (pictured above).
The major tourist area is in the west of the town, where you will have plenty of opportunities to buy sunglasses, aftershave and jewellery - just don't expect a receipt!
Running conditions were surprisingly similar to England, with a nice cool temperature and moisture in the air, so in Summer I would advise running early or in the evenings. However, it did not feel totally safe in some areas when compared to most other countries, so maybe avoid carrying your ipod or jewellery.
The bay pathway takes you free a nice park (which was soaking wet) and then through the marina, which is home to a lot of traditional fishing boats and several tours, which you will be sold 100 times in one run.
However it is very poorly maintained and I had to dodge pot holes most of the way on the slippery surface. Overall, from hotel to the end of the Marina was 4.9km, and due to the uneasiness of the atmosphere in some parts, it was probably the fastest 4.9km of my life on the return leg!

I am sure the area comes to live in season with the sun shining, but in summary, I would say book a hotel with a treadmill just in case you get bad weather if you want to run.

To rub salt in the wounds, my friend Chris was robbed by the taxi driver en route to the airport during a comfort stop, so Turkey will not be on my list of places to revisit!

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Start - 186 Street
Journey - South East to pick up the bay, follow the path the beach to the marina for 4.2km. The path ends there and I would not suggest taking a different course back.
Finish - Miramer Beach Resort on the bay

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