Altra set up a shoot in Greece with three athletes. I arrived in Santorini, a “C” shaped Greek Isle, on a Wednesday afternoon in late March. Santorini long ago had all of its “C” shaped center above water before it erupted and then sunk. Only a small tip, primarily composed of jagged black lava flow rock, is left poking out of the ocean water now. Some think the sunken center might have been home to the lost city of Atlantis.
I arrived in Santorini 4 hours earlier than the rest of the 10 person crew comprised of 7 Icon Fitness employees, 2 wives and one other Altra tri-athlete, Rivers Pugley. I checked into the white hotel clinging to the side of the ocean side cliff, changed into my running clothes and went out for a 9 mile run that took nearly 2 and half hours due to all the stopping and gawking I did. As the pictures show, Thira and the rest of the Island of Santorini is a beautiful place with amazingly unique buildings and churches situated precariously on the sides of ocean cliffs and more than not attached together primarily as one unit. The closest town or city I’ve seen that looks anything like the towns of Santorini is the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians in the southwest part of the US.
The rest of the crew showed up and we enjoyed 3 Euro Gyros and Gelato together and discussed a little bit on what we would be doing over the next few days. I’ve never been involved with such a professional production. From the equipment, which included an 8 prop drone, elaborate cameras and stabilizers, to the people involved… Icon has an impressive outfit. In addition to being impressive and professional, everyone on the trip was fun to hang out with, which made the trip really enjoyable. The crew had already been shooting everyday almost all day for over a week and I could tell that they were pretty tired. Rivers was nursing a strained something in his lower leg that had been irritated by the back and forth style of running involved in shoots, something I am all too familiar with from last summer. We got a “late start” at 8:15 the next day and were on the trails not long after breakfast. The crew would be shooting video of me in the new Altra Paradigm for a TV commercial. The Paradigm is an oversized/maximalist shoe designed for both road and trail. We traveled all over the island shooting me running road, trail, beach, and transitions between road and trail. This was the most fun I have had on a shoot. The crew was fun, hardworking and competent, I ended up falling in love with the Paradigm and it is now my #1 go-to shoe (shoe review coming) and the location was absolutely amazing. After two nearly 12 hour days we had 8-10 minutes of quality (after a quick edit) footage and the crew decided Saturday would be primarily a rest day. I did a 5 hour run Saturday morning, unfortunately skipping the phenomenal breakfast prepared by our hotel chef, all around the island and met the crew in the spectacular city of Oia for lunch and a hang-out. After lunch we headed back to Thira for a 3 and half hour excursion on our own private boat. We hiked to the cauldron and where we saw steam rising from the moon like surface. After the cauldron hike we stopped the boat and jumped off and swam around in an ocean hot spring nestled in a lava rock cove. I had an amazing 4 days on Santorini I will never forget.