2016 Kaohsiung Love Public Marathon
May 22, 2016
As I explained in my ‘210 Days!’post I signed-up for the Kaohsiung Love Public Marathon after my friend, Conor, suggested it to me. I really appealed to the idea that he would also be running the race so I wouldn’t be all alone at my first race, ever. I had ups and downs with training, but struggled through nonetheless. We were both really worried about the weather. Kaohsiung is in southern Taiwan, and it can get really hot and humid there.
The morning of the race we woke up at 3:50am and got ready. We walked to the Formosa Boulevard Station for our 4:25am shuttle bus. Conor had emailed a reservation for the shuttle bus, but the bus driver seemed to be surprised that we were there. Ignoring his arguments in Chinese with another person we had JUST met he eventually started driving towards the World Games Stadium. There people were warming up and getting ready. I forced myself to eat some banana bread and a banana and drink a lot of water. I was so nervous that I felt like I had to go to the bathroom every second. I had completely forgotten about warming up until Conor mentioned something. I followed his lead and then it was time to line-up.
Conor was running the half-marathon, so he started first. I started at 6:30am and I was getting super pumped. There were people of all shapes, sizes, and ages. The race started and we were off. The first mile was a lot of figuring out my pace and running around people that had a slower pace than mine. I was fighting a side cramp in mile one and two, so I was spending a lot of time visualizing it going away until it actually did. After that it was pretty smooth sailing…well running. We were running along the road, right next to traffic, and then we turned off onto a path that ran along the river. At the 5K mark there was a stand full of water, juice, bananas, limes, salt, and cookies. I was pleasantly surprised by this and was really happy about it. My nerves had soaked up the water I had drank and I was in desperate need for some more. The only embarrassing thing about the race was the fact that a chick was running in her graduation gown, and was running faster than me! I can’t even imagine how hot it was for her. I admired her crazy. Haha! The last stretch of my race was tiring and I was ready to be done. Crossing that finish line was amazing! Wow! I was in a daze as I got my towel, certificate of my time, completion medal, and food. I was on an amazing runner’s high. The best part of it all was how absolutely overjoyed I was. I was so proud and amazed with myself that I was actually tearing up a little bit. I couldn’t believe that I had just ran 7 miles and finished my first race. Ahhhh so cool!
After I calmed down a little I stretched and waited for Conor. He had more sun to deal with on his run than I did so he was quite red. Once we collected all our things we were off to the KMRT to go take a much needed shower. Conor scared me a little bit on the MRT. It was packed (and we smelled terrible!) and all of a sudden Conor went really pale and said he needed to sit down. At the next stop everyone on the MRT parted like the red sea. I think between me saying “EXCUSE ME!” really loudly while moving my arms and Conor’s look of death everyone got the point. Conor just needed a short rest and then we made it back to the hostel to freshen up.
I couldn’t have asked for a better first race. I was complaining a lot to Alex about how much I hated training, but after the race all I wanted to do was sign-up for another one. That is my next goal. To run in a race that is after the summer heat. I’m excited already!
Number 417 out of 999 people
Number 104 out of 383 females
Number 31 out of 111 people in my age group