Monday, November 8, 2010

Laugh about it, shout about it, when you've got to choose

...any way you look at this, you're shoes:

...too much running may cause hallucinations.

My regular readers (both of you) may be getting tired of reading about my running, so I thought I'd give you a change of pace. (See what I did there?)

So I thought I'd write about other people's running.

Yesterday was the Joongang Marathon, the one I'd originally registered for before switching to the Chuncheon because of its more relaxed time limit. Of course, the Chuncheon had perfect, warm weather for watching and I ran that; the Joongang had perfect weather for running (cool, foggy, windy) and I watched that.

I went to the Olympic Stadium to hand off my bib to another Seoul Flyer, as someone's Chuncheon bib had been handed off to me. We Flyers (I say "we" though what I do can hardly be called flying) found each other in the mob of 30,000 people...
Here are a few of the 35 or so Flyers who attended, just outside the Olympic Stadium before the race.

...and then some went to the 10K, some to the marathon, and three lucky ducks (including me) to go find coffee.
...a pre-race fanfare you won't get in Boston.

One of the drawbacks to running a race in Korea is that the few spectators along the course are as stolid as cows unless a friend or family member runs past. The three on the right of the group picture, Shira, Zuleika, and I (and I swear most of the hair that's covered by the cap is brown) stood a hundred yards outside the stadium and screamed and yelled ("Chuweyo!", "Assa assa!", "Fighteeeeng!") and pounded our thunder sticks (umm... you do know I'm referring to those plastic inflatable noisemakers, yeah?) for everyone who came by. Runners just lit up, gave us thumbs up, high-fived us... they were so clearly thrilled to be appreciated for once, while the other Koreans on the sidelines stared at the crazy waegookin and took our pictures.

Then we went into the stadium to await the end of the marathon, which I'd have to say was a pretty damn good one:
I will say that there are few places emptier than an 80,000 seat stadium with 500 people in it. Still, Shira's urging me to run the Seoul International Marathon full course in March, and I have to say that the prospect of finishing in the stadium, on the track where Carl Lewis and FloJo and so many others ran, seeing myself on the JumboTron as I approach the finish line... hmm...

Yeah, they call it the JumboTron for the skinny runners, too.

OH! I almost forgot... I lightly rewrote my blog post called The Forty-Year Promise for local consumption and the Chosun Ilbo newspaper is going to print it (and pay me... something) in the booklet they're publishing about this year's Chuncheon Marathon. Hooray for me!

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