“It would be a special race for me, because I brought a running partner along: Joopy, the small dog of my friends. He would accompany me on the whole Arkoudilas Trail. Well that’s what I thought. The starting signal goes off and he sprints, following immediately the first runners.” Petra Lieberherr never ceizes to amaze us. Next stop Arkoudilas Trail, 1st Place Women!
“I discovered Corfu first by walking the Corfu Trail. That’s when I fell in love with the trails on the Ionian Island and noticed, that the island is rich in natural beauty and well connected with a good path network. Simply a great running territory.
With the south part of the island, I wasn’t very familiar though. And running the Arkoudilas Trail in the southernmost tip of Corfu seemed a good opportunity, to get to know these trails better.
So I drove down to Kavos on Sunday 26th of November for the 22km long Arkoudilas Trail. It seemed like the whole Corfu running scene gathered here that day. Happy faces, a lot of chatter and motivated runners, despite of the cold. I put on gloves and my buff the first time this year. We had a lot of rain the previous days and I was expecting a big mud party on the trails.
Scared of that but very excited at the same time. It would be a special race for me, because I brought a running partner along: Joopy, the small dog of my friends. He would accompany me on the whole Arkoudilas Trail. Well that’s what I thought. The starting signal goes off and he sprints, following immediately the first runners. Well, bye bye Joopy I thought. But after 5 kilometers into the race, who is sitting there on the trail awaiting me? Joopy. So happy to see him again. From that point on, we continued racing together with a lot of joy.
The trails are beautiful. Through dense forest we climb up steep uphills and flow down the same using ropes for support. We get to the edge of the cliffs and reach after a short distance the Monastery of Panagia Arkoudila. According to the tradition of the church, the monastery was built by the sister of the noblewoman who built the monastery of Kyra tis Kokkinada.
The landscape continues mesmerizing and all of a sudden I get a view onto the cliffs and the beach of Arkoudilas beach. Stunning. I am in total awe and can’t help myself stopping to take a photo. Now it goes down to the waterfront and past Kanoula harbor. It’s very wind down here and I fight with headwinds. But running along this dirt road by the sea gives me an energy boost. One I needed, because a brutal uphill follows the flat part. I reach again an altitude of about 105m. The rest I just remember nice, soft trails, beautiful forests, olive groves and sprinting the last meters before the finish line on the beach of Kavos. Finishing as the first woman together with my furry running buddy Joopy. A race I literally enjoyed every single step.”