I can’t pinpoint what it is exactly about these runs that make them more fun than their American counterpart. It could be the fireworks. Or the starting line assembly-line massages, where you rub and beat the shoulders in front of you before turning the opposite direction to beat and rub. Or it could be the sheer flamboyance of Korea–the bright pink and yellow balloons, the fireworks at the starting line, or the crowds of people crying and cheering in delight at the mere sighting of a miguk (American). Or it could also be the free massages after the race. Or the post-race soak at the adjacent bathhouse for two bucks.
The only thing missing for me was my family, who are usually either cheering for me at the finish line or running right behind me (though Mom is certainly getting close to running right ahead of me!)
My family has become such a staple at these events that I couldn’t help but look for them at the finish. While I was sad not to see them, I was cheered loudly by my great friends here in Korea as they held up colorful, yet a little bawdy, signs and yelled my name as I broke my best half marathon time by five minutes.
Still trying to figure out how I “got off the couch to PR” says Whit, rudely. (He did not PR today. Hmm. Do I smell jealousy amidst my glory?) No. Kidding. Whit had an awesome race as usual. I just happened to have an exceptional race. Yes I am bragging. But I had a Kathryn-kind-of-time, for those of you who know my much faster-running sister.
For your viewing entertainment, here are a few play-by-plays of the race filmed by yours truly, Marathon Mojo back in action.
Warning: If you are prone to sudden dizziness by shaky pictures, do not watch these films. Excuse the heavy breathing, the dropping of the camera case when I did not stop filming, and the bouncing pictures. But I was running fast, people!