1:09 without walking A SINGLE STEP.
Best bling I'll ever get. The 10K race at the DMZ International Peace Marathon was incredible. First we had the hilarity of being sober in Itaewon at 5:30 in the morning. Drunks hailing cabs are very amusing. A two hour bus ride later and we were there - there being some very rain-soaked fields with tables, bag checking, food, a stage, and other assorted bits and pieces. Within seconds my feet (still in sandals) were muddy and wet. Though it was a nice, relatively cool day with no rain, that field ensured that I ran the race with wet feet.
It was an amazing thing, doing my first ever race. I was nervous, since most start with 5K. This particular race wasn't offering 5 and I had been told all about how beautiful the scenery was, so I let myself get swept up in the excitement and registered. It turned out surprisingly fine: though I'd only run 10K once the week before, I didn't struggle in the slightest. There were fireworks and a band to send us off and it was an experience to run with that many people. Matt and Moniqa quickly left me in their dust and the runners thinned out. I kept my pace slow and steady and spent the whole race being leapfrogged by runners who were faster but stopped to walk a lot. Since I was carrying my own bottle of Poweraid, I didn't even stop at the water stops.
I first noticed a kilometer marker at 5K - turns out that there were markers every kilometer and I just didn't see them. Nor do I remember any of the slight inclines that others mentioned post-race or the giant clock above the finish line.
What I do remember is how surprised I was to hit 8K (I was listening to music by then, but not any of my usual running playlists, so I had no idea how far it was at any time) and still feeling good, with no need to walk. I remember passing a purple house and thinking I'd quite like to live in a purple house. I remember hitting the clappers around 9K and absolutely loving that experience. And I admit to crying a bit when I hit the finish line and saw Shira on the sidelines, cheering us in.
After that there were several hours of waiting for the half and full marathon runners to finish. Once our little group was done and had eaten some bibimbap, we headed over to the bus to try and rest in a dry location. The race swag involved a 3 kilo bag of rice which most of us donated to PLUR, a charity which runs a soup kitchen, some nasty herbal tea drinks, and a bag with bananas and stuff. It was a 3 hour trip home with all the Seoul traffic, dreaming of dinner with the Southsiders once we hit home.
And there's the medal, of course. Which I am insanely proud of.
Next race: 5K night run on October 2nd. I suppose I should start training for a half now...