Saturday, December 7, 2013

Shanghai Marathon 2013

Like any big city, Shanghai sponsors a marathon event.  And since I don't have to spend my spare time caring to the needs of a yard, a pool or an old house in need of repair then I have time to exercise.  For anyone needing a goal to motivate them to get out of bed in the morning, a race is a great focus.  Ok, so a marathon is not a normal goal but I decided that it would be for me.  

I enjoy running for the exercise and the ability that it allows to be close to a city and the people.  There were many events that I witnessed on my long weekend runs through downtown (e.g. prostitutes ending work at 5 am, 50 workers packing into a pick-up truck heading to work) that very few people would have seen.  

My training started in August and by November 1st my knee was sore with tendinitis.  Sore enough that I had to stop running about 3 weeks before the December 1st race.   But the since I had paid my 200 RMB ($32) I thought I would go get my t-shirt, number and other free-bees.   The knee had felt good over the last week so I decided the night before to run the half.
Pickup the day before
Find you name on the poster amongst
35,000 others
The wall of names, mostly Chinese
History of running in China

The race day was a perfect temperature but the air-pollution index was above 200, which is defined as, "very unhealthy, Protection recommended".  This is above the "Limit outdoor activity" level.  But hey, it was only 13 miles.
Air Pollution App just before the race

I started the race with a local friend and the knee felt great.  At the 12 km point I had recalled that there was a turnoff point of the marathoners from the rest and after 5 km it would connect back up with them.   So I called home to confirm.  The worst case would be that it would hurt and then I would limit my run to about 16 mi.

To make a long story about a long race short, I my knee felt good so I kept going and finished the full marathon.  It is a week later and my muscles are still sore and maybe I have done permanent damage to my body but hey, I can say that I finished the race without stopping to walk!  

Pre-race band.  Many supporter along the route
were chanting "China, china".

Port-a-potty, it was a hole in the ground for

The starting mob on the Bund.

I was about 200 meters from the start.  We had
chip time so it didn't really matter.

I started the race with a friend.  He did it in 3:30.

Off we go, it took about 2 minutes to cross the
starting line. 

This was a photo at the finish line area.
I was too tired to think about taking photos.

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