I fall in love with places. Its a blessing and a curse. I find that one of the things I miss most about past homes(besides for friends) is my running route. Ever since college I have run religiously in every town I have lived in. If I ever find myself in one of these towns, it is absolutely necessary I run my old route. Running an old route is almost like seeing an old friend and telling old stories.
While I was running in the Gwangju half-marathon today, I found myself running sections of several of my routes. I couldn’t take my mind off all of the wonderful memories we have made in Korea. I remembered last year how many of our friends ran and even more came out to support us. I remembered good runs and bad runs along this cities streets. I remembered kids here who have made me love teaching. I remembered random acts of kindness by Koreans. I remembered the beauty of a Korean morning even amongst the not so beautiful highrise concrete apartments. I remembered how much I love traditional Korean music. I remembered how much I love to hear Korean’s yell “Fighting” to each other as a word of encouragement. I remembered how beautiful Koreans are when they smile. I remembered how much I like massage trains and fireworks at the starting line of races. It wasn’t even until 3/4’s of the way through the race that I started to feel the pain that accompanies a half-marathon. It is hard to remember anything bad when you run, and it was especially hard to remember bad things today. It was beautiful outside, our good friends Tony and Caroline came to support us, our other good friends Sarah and Hanna came out to run the grueling race with us. And true to form Koreans smiled, massaged, shot off fireworks and literally gave us the food off their plates.
P.S. For those of you keeping score at home Lindsay ran a 1:51 and Whit ran a 1:25.