Mathios Mansolas

Despite being born in Athens, it seems that all my childhood memories take place in Andros. Perhaps this is because the first day of all school holidays found me in Andros and the last usually meant the return to school in Athens. My parents, both born and raised in the village of Lamyra in Andros, followed the trend and moved to Athens in the 60’s. Ground up in a nautical family meant that I spent most of my time in Andros with grandparents, that lived in geographically distant parts of Lamyra, during times with no central water supply, very limited road network, and even fewer cars. Everyday life revolved around the footpaths. To get from one grandma to the other, to carry water for them, to go to your friends, or to the cinema as years went on, it was the footpaths and your legs that took you there. I explored as many as I could, I got lost in them, I combined them, I even timed myself running them.

In a break from the footpaths, I studied Economics, Computer Science and an MBA in England, and I work up to this day in commercial positions in Greek, as well as multinational companies in Athens. However, the seed that the footpaths planted during my childhood and younger years in Andros, became love for sports and mountain running. I was certified as a personal trainer, and I still participate in swimming, triathlon and mountain running races. For many years, the footpaths of Andros, the dry-stone-walls, the stone paved paths rejuvenate me, and make me feel welcome and at home. Through Andros routes I want to give back to the footpaths some of what they have given me.

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