The Openwork Foundation

Day Five: Saranda to Himare


Well, getting ready to a bit of Bob Seger and 'Hollywood Nights', followed by some Billy Joel is a great start to the day, thanks to my roomie Nawal Saighal.

Now, if a great day is defined by 9 miles of pain and suffering, I was correct.

However, I was blessed with the experience of the beautiful and extremely animated Mike Gregoriou saying, as he was overtaken by the octogenarian Americans up the steepest part of the hill (on their ebikes), 'Heh, what's going on here? What you doing? I’m sure you can imagine. 

I sensed a real energy in the team despite the expected serious challenges ahead. Personally, I missed a lot of the views going up the hill, so took the opportunity to stop and admire the scenery and photos.

A lot of uncomfortable rears were also prevalent it seemed. From my experience that comes from a lot of climbing. 

I loved looking back at what we had achieved for the first major stop, it felt great and a sense of achievement from the team was prevalent.

When you look at the group, we get where we are through what feels like dogged determination. We achieve, then move on to the next challenge. To explain the context of our achievement made me stop and feel proud.

Right we are off again. We must have stopped at the top of the hill or near the top. Nope, another tough climb. A lot in bottom gear. Davy Sinclair put it brilliantly, when your legs are burning and your lungs are bursting you think, I need to drop a gear, but we are in the bottom gear! So now it’s mind over matter, how did he do? He kept going of course. A great man that comes on the event year after year, to provide a great example of a human being.

Finally, ermmm, the Lumpy part (I think that's what it’s called) started. Rewarding us with stunning views again. When we think the views can’t get better, we still are rewarded, time after time.

A great sense of achievement within the Team, buzzing with the feeling of the right mind set at the beginning and feeling great after a tough day. 

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By Ian Sanderson

The Openwork Foundation

Day Four: Muzina Pass to Butrinti to Saranda