May 16 2009

The Event of the Day

On May 10, 2009 I supported the 4th Mirinae Marathon Race sponsored by The Catholic University of Korea, Saint Vincent Hospital. The purpose of the event was to assist with the preservation of the environment and to save endangered species. The website is not in English but for those that speak Korean it is www.mirinairun.kr. There were assessed to be over forty thousand participants at the event. The Jasan English School in which I work supports the environment and I entered the race with their staff.

I ran in the 5km without the rest of my co-workers due to a slight registration over sight, they all ended up running in the 3km. It was cool considering that when I arrived across the finish line they were all there waiting for me. That is how I got the photo of me crossing the finish line. I think my time was over 25 minutes and I was just happy to finish the race considering how out of shape I am at the moment. I think I did as well as I did, was to the efforts and encouragement of many young Koreans that were in the race and some on the sidelines providing assistance for the runners.

A group of young teen guys talked to me before the race and as I ran they called me by name and asked me to wait for them as I passed. I was very tired and did not mind slowing down to catch a breather. At some point I had to run up a very steep hill and felt as if I was going into traction so I stopped running. There was a Korean man running next to me and when I stopped he stopped also and we talked as we walked quickly up the hill. Upon reaching level ground we started running again. I finally got my second wind and was able to advance ahead of many people that got a quicker start due to the number of people in the 5km event.

It was unfortunately that I got my second wind almost at the end of the run. I shook off all of the tiredness and physical weakness and put forth my best effort to finish the race in good standing. At the finish line I was greeted by a group of Korean as they place a bronze medal around my neck and offered me a bottle of water and a half cucumber. That was the best cucumber that I can ever recall eating. It really hit the spot considering I had not eaten any breakfast before the run. After I got myself in order and regain my energy my group and I went to have lunch.

While walking to the designated luncheon site I met a Korean guy and a Korean couple and we talked a bit and then took a few photos. I received the photos on Wednesday and hope to visit with the guy in Seoul at some point when I get the time.

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