We started our run at the traffic lights on Torhova, watched by a line of cars, some people on a bus, and an old woman applying whitewash to the base of a tree. Downhill towards the Black Sea, we swung right towards Prymorska, crossing a rusted bridge with padlocks and graffiti on the railings. A group of men in the trees below were having an early morning picnic, dried fish, black bread and vodka laid-out across a sheet of newspaper that had been spread over the top of a wall.
Over cobbles and badly-laid paving stones, we went straight on at the top of the Potemkin Steps, past the Duc de Richelieu statue and under still-bare trees to the bust of Pushkin, deliberately placed with his back to the town hall after the politicians refused to pay for it, where we turned around and went back to the start.
It was twenty minutes from traffic light to traffic light, and I was barely out of breath at the end. "Same time tomorrow, mate?" "Yeah, go on."