Monday, November 9, 2009

Continued from Previous Post

**Note: This is the second entry. Don't miss this first below!**

Cue Monday.

I received my race packet for my half marathon next Sunday. The packet included my chip-activated bib number (#2860), the race booklet and, of course, two huge bags of special Suncheon Kimchi. I rolled my eyes on the inside, stuck the stuff in the fridge and went to class. Well, I thought I was going nuts, because I kept hearing the word for marathon. When the bell rang and I asked the students to quiet down, the class captain said, "Amy marathon kimchi?" Sigh. The entire school was talking about my kimchi delivery.

I brought the kimchi home, showed it to my mom who gave me a "really?-they-really-gave-you-kimchi?" look, laughed and thanked me for my donation. She then told me that we were going out for dinner with dad's "Gurye Marathon" friend. I love these kinds of events. It's like, the few strange words I am given are a riddle for something great.

Around dinner time, we picked up a man and drove to dinner. This man, Gurye Marathon, would be escorting me from my Gurye apartment to the Suncheon starting line next Sunday. I focused real hard in the car ride, trying to catch as much as I could (but, gosh, they talk so fast!). Gurye Marathon, it would seem, is president of the Gurye running club. There are currently three other members.

I heaved a big sigh of relief when he started asking me about my running times. Finally! A conversation that is the same across cultures! After questioning my 5k, 10k, marathon and half marathon times, he decided that I, too, could join Gurye running club. We meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:50 pm at the stadium. He said that they run an hour in the stadium. I hope that that was a mis-translation. 60-minutes on a 400 meter track is one of my nightmares. Honestly. But, who knows.

Once home, I decided that maybe it would be best if I browsed the booklet they gave me. Here's what I found.

Of 3700 participants, 60 are females running the half.
There are four foreigners, including me, throughout all events.
The fastest expected pace for 1st-place finisher in the half is my goal time.

The picture from last year's start shows a group of runners. None of which are wearing t-shirts. They're all wearing high-performance sports wear. (typical. You should see these people hike. They have more money in their gear than I have in my bank account)

If there was any shred of doubt that this was going to be the race to remember, it's gone. I can picture it now: people pressed close together, everyone cramming to the front of the line no matter their distance or ability (or the fact that it's chip timing, so starting with the gun doesn't really matter). And me. In the middle of it all. In my cotton shorts, cotton T-shirt and bouncing blond pony tail, waiting patiently for the madness to cease before I do my thing.

I'll be sure to notice as much as I can so as to relay it to you when I finish. Wish me luck!


  1. If kimchi is the token gift everyone gets, what do you get if you win?

    Can we also assume you are the only female in your running club? I'm glad Guyre Marathon man will be keeping an eye on you. I wish I could be there to see you leaving them in your dust. Whatever the outcome, have fun and know we are cheering for you on the other side of the world.

    You are special!!

  2. Hi Amy, we know that once you get out of the pack, you will do great in the race, and we will be chearing for you. Have fun, and don't get squished.

    Love you....

  3. I don't know what the average marathon is like in Korea, but it looks like a big event with 3700 people running! I am still puzzled why they would deliver kimchi with the packet, but it must be some special kimchi. Not that I remember anything special about Suncheon kimchi... Enjoy the run!