Yeongju Marathon

9 Apr

Last weekend, Yeongju celebrated it’s 100 anniversary with a city marathon – 5km, 10km, half marathon and full marathon. It seems like all the foreign teachers in Yeongju were entered to represent their schools.

With the option of choosing our own distance, my co teacher entered Baden and I to run the 5km race – considering that we had been travelling for the last few months, we had no doubt that we were walking fit but running fit was a whole different thing. I’d tested out a 4km run along the river a week earlier and Baden, although easily bored by running, knew he’d have the stamina to get through 5km. Sadly, a few days before the race, Baden developed a very sore throat and snotty nose so on strict instructions from his wife, he spent the Sunday in bed while I geared up in my tracksuit, my cap and my takkies and headed off in the direction I thought the stadium was vaguely in.

Fortunately, the whole of Yeongju was out today dressed up and ready to run so it was easy to follow the crowd and the noisy microphone (which actually turned out to be one party’s election campaign right outside the stadium – local elections this week!) It took me a good hour to find the foreign teachers table though by which time the 9am starting time was passed and I was almost tempted to go home. Thank goodness for the flag the school had given me with their name in Korean so some little Korean man with no English could phone someone who phoned someone who came to fetch me to take me to someone who could take me to someone who knew where I was meant to be. And as all things in Korea – they were running late so I was still in time for my race.

Before I ran though, I was given free apples and had my photo taken – perhaps I will end up on the Yeongju Apples website or apple box one day. I managed to finish th 5km in 30 minutes passing students and Koreans with limited English. One man ran alongside me for some time chanting “one, two, free, frour, one two, free, frour” which was kind of encouraging. It was the first warm day we’ve had in Yeongju since we’ve been here and the town was alive with character. Buds are starting to shoot through the soil and trees are budding. It feels like winter is coming to an end and spring is here!

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