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‘’Stop, what are you doing? Why you do this? Why do you want to endure this?’’

‘’Shut up – Keep Going – You got this – You got more than this – This is nothing – You can do it!’’

This article will take you through what I’ve experienced when I run at the Limassol marathon, running the distance of the half-marathon wearing my firefighting protective gear to support the Center of Preventive Paediatrics.

This was THE most challenging experience of my life, both physically and mentally and I would like to share it with you!

Why? Because I can!

Start of the race – Anxiety

‘’I’m ready. I have been training for this, I have done it again – I got this – I can do it – I’m doing it – Lets go’’

I think that every single runner/athlete out there can verify that anxiety, anticipation, excitement, adrenaline, are some of the feelings that are pumping through our minds and bodies when we are at the start line.

1km – Excitement

‘’Wow – Look at all these great athletes that I’m running along… Look at all those people who are cheering for us… This is going to be an incredible race!’’

2.5km – Realization

‘’Wow – it’s much hotter than I thought it’ll be. There is no shadow to run along like the last time I run with this suit. I think this race will challenge me like nothing before.’’

5km – It’s getting hot in here

‘’The sweat I’m pouring out is incredible. My shoes are filled from the sweat dripping. Man the fuck Avgoustinos, you’re into the battle of your life.’’

8km – Guns our out

‘’My firefighting gear it’s getting incredibly heavy from the sweat. I feel like I’m carrying another person on my back. ‘’

‘’Why am I doing this? Just stop – You can’t make it all the way. It’s too much’’

‘’Shut up – Keep going – If you stop you’re finished – Failure is not a fucking option here’’

10.5 km – Turn around point

‘’Everything hurts. Pain at the knees, back, shoulders, heart rate is elevated. Pre-heat stress condition.’’

‘’Avgoustinos wake up, keep monitor yourself, keep the temp down. You’re in control.’’

‘’I still have 10.5 km to do. It’s so hot I can barely breathe.’’‘’Shut up – look at the sea – relax your mind – Stay focused’’

13km – Intensity

”Am I going to finish this or…? There’w no fucking or Avgoustinos  – Go”

‘’Here’s the athletes doing the full marathon. I admire you guys…’’

”Peter is running towards me from the opposite lane, he gave me a high five and told me to hang in there (i think).’ Thank you Peter! Much respect to you and the rest of the team!

‘’Wake up Avgoustinos; Remember why you do what you do. You’re a firefighter, you don’t give up – You can’t give up – I will not give up.’’

16km – Pain and more pain

‘’Everything hurts, but more – way more. I can barely walk; my knees are failing. The suit became too heavy from the sweat. I can barely move my arms as well…It’s so hot. I’m burning in here.’’

‘’I must keep going, I’m almost there. Stay focused – No pain – No pain – No fucking pain – Keep running, keep going.’’

18km – Lights go out

‘’I feel weak. I can barely keep my self upstanding. I will pass out – Shut up – Shut the fuck up – You’ve got so much more in you.’’

‘’This is nothing; remember why you do it; remember who the fuck you are; remember how hard you have trained for this.’’

‘’This suit is so heavy, sweat is pouring from everywhere’’

19.5km – it is now or never

‘’I can’t believe it, I’m so close and everything shuts down. Come on body, stay with me on this. Keep going.”

‘’Don’t vomit, don’t pass out, keep standing and keep yourself fucking moving.’’

‘’It is now or never Avgoustinos – Push it, fucking push it.’’

300m from the finish line – Push

‘’I’m about to vomit. I’m losing my senses.’’

‘’Someone shouts at me, it’s Kyriaki’’ (a fellow runner who have already completed the marathon).

’She runs with me, she gives me strength (thank you Kyriaki – much love and respect) I can barely breathe, I can barely walk, everything hurts, everything fucking hurts.’’

‘’I need to keep going, almost there.’’


50m from the finish line – Emotional

‘’I’m here, I made it. I want to scream, I want to cry, I made it. I fucking made it!’’

‘’I think of my family’’.

Done – Salvation

‘’Why they’re looking at me like that? Do I look so fucked up? ‘’

‘’I kneeled on the ground. I can’t believe it. I’ve been through hell. But I made it. I fucking made it’’.

‘’I can barely hold my tears.’’

‘’I made it – because I can’’

Well, I’m once again emotional when I’m writing this. It’s like I went through this all over again.

And if you ask me if I want to do it again, well, you know the answer!

Why?

Because I can…

Much Love and respect to all those who have supported me and all athletes around the world, amateurs, and professionals who are giving their own battle every time.

Avgoustinos

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