The Gwangju Peace and Unification Marathon

After arriving back into the country of South Korea BreeAnn and I hadn’t been as proactive about running as we previously had been.  So when we heard about a race in our home town of Gwangju, we decided to get motivated again and run a 5K.  Five kilometers is approximately 3.1 miles.  And although it is half of what we did our last race, we thought we would just ease back into this whole racing thing again.

Honestly, as race day approached we were a bit nervous because we hadn’t prepared as much as we would have liked.  I wasn’t nervous about finishing the race or walking, because five kilometers had become quite normal to BreeAnn and I.  What I was worried about was our time.  Normally, we run somewhere close to a 10 minute mile, which isn’t anything to write home about.  But personally I wanted to run it in under 30 minutes.

That morning we woke up at 6:30 to get to the race.  Even though it was in our city, it still took about an hour to get there by bus and subway.  We met up with our friends at the race, and it was so fun seeing everyone.  BreeAnn and I were really proud of a few of our friends who hadn’t raced before and had just recently started running for recreation.  Our friend Adam who ran cross-country in high school, and caught the running bug again in Korea, ran the 10K.

At about 9:10 we took our positions in the pack, got our music playlists ready, and waited for the countdown.  Running through crowds of people and trying to find opening to run through, BreeAnn and I made our way towards the front.  I figured we only had to run for about 30 minutes, I wanted to give it my all.  There weren’t very many markers as we went, so it was hard to determine how far we had gone and how much further we had to go.  It was a beautiful day though and a scenic area.  There were cars on our left, but countryside on our right.  And as we rounded the last corner and saw we had about 100 meters to go, we started kicking harder.  By the finish line we were sprinting and crossed the finish line in 26:30.  It’s time I was surprised at and proud of.

After the race most Koreans ate complimentary kimchi, rice cakes, and maekgoli.  Not feeling that would fill our tummies we headed to our friends house, stretched out, and ate some delicious hummus.

There’s no cool down time for BreeAnn and I.  As of today, we are signed up for a 10k taking place in Suncheon Bay.   Time to hit the track!

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