Once again, the Antalya Runatolia run!
Once again, I was part of one of my favorite running events of all time, Runatolia 2018 (the run in Antalya). In this article, I am sharing with you my experiences prior to and after the run. I will also give an insight of my experiences at KFC and Pizza Hut in this piece along with the campaign I have started for TIDER, which I want some support with. Finally, due to the post date of this article, I want to wish from the bottom of my heart a very Happy Women’s Day to all the women and I’d like to share my thoughts with you regarding this special day.
It’s the run I enjoy the very most, Runatolia. There are a few reasons for this. As a city, you can really experience the joy of Antalya, especially at the beginning of March when this marathon is held. It really helps heal the soul spending two days in Antalya, far from all the chaos in Istanbul. Another reason is the fact that we can use the same platform to bond with our friends from the Adim Adim CSO. Everyone generally stays at the same hotel within the same region. It really gives me peace to spend two days with people who spread their positive energy around. If I’m in a bad mood, it suddenly changes or if I’m already in a good mood, it uplifts me even more. And when that happens, Serhan’s real potential comes out. Another reason is also the fact that the Runatolia event is the best organized when compared to the others held in Turkey. The running track is comfortable. You have fun before and after the run, and you can comfortably finish the running track by enjoying it throughout the whole time. You always leave with great memories. I have many different memories and great times to remember from each time I have come here. When it’s as good as this, I get impatient to go to Antalya again.
This time I came to Antalya from Izmir. We came a little early this time as we had some meetings last Friday. After some successful meetings, I went to Terracity Shopping Centre to collect my run kit. This Shopping Centre has a special place in my heart. If I remember correctly, we had opened the KFC in Terracity Shopping Centre in Antalya in the summer of 2011 as part of the Southern Region store openings. We opened the store with the then popular Pascal Nouma, who had made it big in the ‘Survivor’ competition. God I cannot forget that stampede.
This is the commercial we had prepared with Pascal Nouma as part of the campaign:
At that time, I was the CEO of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants and with the newly established structure, we enabled a significant growth. In 6 months, we opened 25 restaurants. We were working so fast that, including knock downs, we were able to open a KFC store with a ‘kitchen like a small factory’ within 13 days. In fact we were able to this without using funds from the main company or without borrowing further monies from the bank, as this immense growth was allowing us to have a substantial cash flow. It was a period that I am most honoured by. I will write about this topic in the near future.
Let’s now turn to the Antalya store opening. There was a serious stampede of people. There were two types of people. The first was the ones desperately waiting for a KFC to be opened in Antalya, and the others were the fans of Pascal Nouma. At the opening, there were people crushing each other, screaming and shouting; it seriously was an interesting environment. The crowd got even wilder once Pascal stood right behind a register and started taking food orders. In that crowd, I remember how difficult it was for me to get behind the counter. As a result, I remember after the opening that we didn’t have enough products and we needed to stock up on the supplies to meet the demand.
Here are some photos of a news bulletin that was written about the opening:
In order to collect our running kits from the Terracity Shopping Centre roof top, I had to pass through the food court. As I was looking at that KFC that we opened, I had thought about all these again. Those were the days. It was always an advantage to collect the running kits from the Friday. Without any lines, I was able to collect all the components of the kit from 3 different lines in under 5 minutes. The bag they gave this year was made with much thought. I would like to congratulate the organisers for not substituting their quality with money.
Later on, I met with the General Manager of TIDER, Miss Pinar in which we had something to eat and worked a little. Then I went back to the hotel and worked there till the evening. We then had dinner with the TIDER professionals and volunteers in a grill restaurant near the hotel.
A selfie we took in front of the Adim Adim sign after dinner
After breakfast on Saturday morning, I prepared a speech and shared it on the Adim Adim platform. I would also like to share this with you:
Dear friends of Adim Adim,
Last year, we were left with the sweet taste of Runatolia in our mouths. It was fantastic in every way.
This year, we are yet again in Antalya. Whilst maintaining sustainability to organise this campaign with our volunteers and supporters for the 2018 Runatolia, we also want to start the solidarity with the CSO.
I’d like to elaborate on this topic a little more. TIDER has two main visions:
1. To prevent waste
2. To enable people in need to stand on their own feet
I’d like to share with you the vision we have in order to prevent waste:
I’d also like to explain what we do in order to have people in need stand on their own feet:
We enable these people in need to gain employment by giving them jobs and providing them with their basic needs via food banks. Is this enough? Of course not.
In order to elevate these families, we need to do much more to support them. And in order to do this, we need the support of a CSO. To provide you with an example; we can redirect a person with the ALS illness to an ALS-MNH foundation for further assistance.
We’d like to spread this model which reduces waste and helps elevate families in need to the whole of Turkey.
So we want to start the works of solidarity with a CSO found in our Adim Adim platform in Antalya. We would like to invite all our Adim Adim friends to our stand in the ballroom. In return, we are also going to be with you, side by side and come to your aid at any time.
With this opportunity, I wish the Adim Adim family and its CSO’s all the best success with this campaign.
H. Serhan Suzer
Founding Director, Basic Needs Association (Tider)
T: +90 216 709 0880
After breakfast, we went up to the ballroom level where all the CSO’s were holding their stands and got prepared. We greeted all our volunteers between 9am and 3pm, gave the visitors t-shirts, introduced TIDER to the newcomers and got introduced to all the CSO representatives in the ballroom. As I mentioned above, we started the CSO solidarity campaign. From our perspective, it was a very effective day. But of course from here onwards, we need to keep in touch with the CSO’s in order to keep the bond. For this, we will do everything we can. These are the photos taken with the two in the education sector, TEGV and ALIKEV:
The weight and responsibility of social cooperation is very heavy. Here, the public, private sector and other CSO’s need to work hand in hand in a cooperative way in order to get a result. There is so much work to do.
After spending a good time with great people, I invited everyone to the hotel garden to take a photo at about 4pm. These are the photos we captured:
Later on, the main program started at 6pm. The Adim Adim founders and directors gave an honorable presentation. The energy suddenly elevated. But when one of Adim Adim’s symbols Tayyar handed his role over, this created a little sadness in me. However, in order for continuity for CSO’s, a change of flag ownership is required. I wish him all the best in his life and career.
Afterwards, we went to the nearby fish restaurant named Nejat Balikci with the TIDER professionals and volunteers. The owner Mr Nejat, migrated from Istanbul’s Nisantasi region to Antalya and certainly has very tasty mezze and seafoods, which was a great addition to a night of entertainment with their two people fasil band. I’d like to share with you a photo taken from that night:
In the morning, I woke up at 6am to prepare for and make the final preparations for the marathon and then I headed down to breakfast. As always, the breakfast lounge was full of people. In this crowd, we were lucky to find a table and have our breakfast. At 7:30am, we went up to the lobby and took a photo with the Eczacibasi Company, as they were running for us as a corporation. This is the photo we took:
We then got on the bus and on the road. But it took us ages to get on the road as there was a vehicle parked in the bus lane, so we had to wait 20 minutes for the owner to come and move it. We then asked the hotel for permission to go over their grass to avoid the delay from the cars parked in our way. We then got on the road and on our way.
When we got to the arena, it was as if there was a festival celebration. We then hung up our flag at the arena and spent time with our volunteers; we warmed up and had fun while waiting for the start time of the race. You can see some of the photos we took together below.
At 9.40am, my 10km race commenced. As always, due to the crowd, I was only able to start the race 5 minutes after the start time. To be honest, it didn’t matter as my aim was to complete the race in a healthy and careful way.
Last year I broke my leg; in April I need to have an operation for a hernia and I am untrained. Considering all of this, I was able to complete the 10km race in 55 minutes. It wasn’t so bad. This means my foundation is still quite strong. I am however planning on doing some proper training as of May. This is a video of me coming towards the finish line and when seeing some people from TIDER, my reaction (in which you will see that I ran the whole race with a heart stamped balloon do to a bet).
Once the race finished, we met up at the point we were at before the race started. Photos were taken and moments were shared. These are some of the photos:
Afterwards, we returned to our hotel with the vehicle we hired. I had a shower, got ready and packed my suitcase and then checked out. Then at the kofte (meatball) party, I ate my kofte in bread with much delight. I then met up with my friend Ozan from military, which was an Antalya ritual. We went to a nearby tapas bar and had some things to drink.
fter returning to the hotel, I worked for 1.5 hours with Miss Pinar. We then all got together and left for the airport. The tiredness was finally settling in. Almost everyone on the plane was a runner. Chatting away, we got to Istanbul.
Of course, the organisation and what we’ve done has an aim. We are collecting donations for TIDER. We are in the final 10 days for donations for Runatolia. In a bid to prevent waste and the fight against poverty, I am in all sincerity requesting support from all our supporters.
To make a donation, all you need to do is visit this link: https://ipk.adimadim.org/kampanya/CC28367
I would like to thank you in advance for your donations. I’d also like to thank those starting the Runatolia campaign and our supporters for making their generous donations. You have made a very big contribution to TIDER. You can find the names of those who made the most donations and found the most donators below. We are labeling them as the ‘Stars of TIDER’.
And for those who can’t donate, I would like to invite them to volunteer for us. The load is quite big. Everyone needs to make a contribution.
Finally, I posted this article on the 8th of March and with this opportunity I would like to wish all the women a very Happy Women’s Day. Our Foundation is formed of many women in the board of management, professionals and volunteers. As a man however, I’d like to make a confession. Women are more sensitive towards social issues and always want to do something about them. But do we know the value of our women?
The video below analyses this topic in much detail.
Women are also the ones who have been perfected to bring up people who have much value and respect. In reference to this, I’d like to share the photo below.
Last but not least, I handed over the role of board director to another woman at the end of last year, Miss Hande Tibuk and this is the interview we did together in Samdan, which I’d like to present to you all with much honour.
In actual fact, men and women complete each other and have a lot of work to do together. And we can only breach the social issues if we do it all together.
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