Gyros in a Different Way
What defines you as a runner is not how fast you are or how many miles you can run. What defines you as a runner is that you tie your shoes, walk out the door and run." ~ unknown (P.S.: the same holds true for carrying out a volunteer service, by the way)
This Sunday (19.11.2017) the annual Gyros of the city of Serres took place - and this already for the 33th time.
Under Gyros, some people will probably imagine something quite the opposite than what has actually
happened this weekend the Gyros Race of the City of Serres is not pita or flatbread filled with
lettuce, onions, tomatoes and meat, but the mini version of a marathon that has been moving the
masses on Serres' streets every year since its inception.
For a city with about 80,000 inhabitants, Serres seems to be quite empty to me some times. Especially on weekends or after work, when I walk through the streets, I am often surprised how few people I meet. On the one hand, this may be due to the fact that Greek shops are only open from 9:00 to 21:00 during the week and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 15:00 (when one should actually think that on free days everyone
would want to go shopping...) and on the other hand this may have to do with the Greek population not
appearing in town until 24:00 at the earliest.
But it was different yesterday. A not-so-normal Sunday began with the fact that just in time at 9:30 a. m. (for some of us record time) volunteers, as well as refugees met in the office under our apartment and
marched to the peace place in the middle of the city centre. Once there, the first signs of the unusually
colourful hustle and bustle are quickly visible: there are stands on the square, loudspeakers have been
set up and completely inappropriate music has been booming, while many people are running around
wildly confused, searching for something.
After we had set up our stand, which was supposed to serve as a collecting station for old shoes that we
can passon to the refugees, those of us who were to participate in the race went off to search for the
person responsible for the registration; in contrast to most of such events, the registration period at the
gyros is supposed to end 1 hour before the start of the first run. Our plan was to collect enough video
footage of the event to ensure the creation of a video report including interviews with participants and
organizers. So, Julian, Vera and I set out to discover the best shooting locations around the race.
Maris, Killian and I held somewhat of an interview on the platform of the National Bank in Serres, from
where the whole area was observable. Moreover, we were provided with excellent video footage of our
squadron consisting of Killian, Maris, Cristo, Ali, Hasiam, Yasir and Zidane right from the front line, thanks
to Selfie Sticks and stable hands. All of them mastered their race over the distances of 5 km and 2.5 km
Apart from the race, Ali, Yasir and Hasiam also gladly took over the function as cameramen, so that some
very interesting pictures and above all views of the event were photographed.
Besides the fact that Cristo was not the first to cross the finish line, one of the girls from the refugee camp was involved in a minor accident and another having lost her jacket on the event grounds, the "Gyros Run of the City of Serres" was a great success. Not only the refugees from the Greek community were integrated into the run, but also town and organisational partnerships were strengthened. Proof of this can be found in abundance on the Facebook page of PRAXIS.