DMZ Marathon

Trip Start Aug 18, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Korea Rep.  , Gangwon,
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I participated in my first ever marathon which took place practically in my backyard at the 8th annual International DMZ Cheorwon Marathon. Sad to say though I was not prepared as I should have been and only ran the 5k, but, that was enough for me!  You have to try everything once, right? I didn't want to give up the chance to be involved in a big event in Cheorwon because big events are usually rare.  

People from all over Korea, including many foreigners, came to our beautiful, sleepy town bright and early to run with the masses of people along the scenic roads of Cheorwon.  Most of my friends participated in the 10 k and many in the half marathon, but I was happy to be finished in 30 minutes!  As the end was in sight, Lisa's encouraging words kept me going.  "I hear Johnny Depp is at the finish line," whispered Lisa. I just replaced Johnny Depp in my mind with Jake Gyllenhaal, pushed through the last 10 minutes of extreme heat, crossed the finish line and was handed some sort of badge or award that said #10.  I thought to myself, wow, how could this be?  Was I the 10th to last person to finish?  Or was this the prize for the 10th biggest looser?  Or maybe I was the 10th slowest foreigner?  Well, I was trying to be positive and was stoked to receive something at the finish line.  Then someone started yelling at me in Korean and pointing to my race number that was pinned on my shirt.  I then realized that I was originally signed up for the 10k, in which the microchip that was implanted in my number tracked me as completing the 10k in 32 minutes!  Whoops!  I discreetly gave back the award, and as soon as they realized that I only ran the 5k, they furiously ripped it out of my hands and signaled to get out of the way.  I knew something was up!  Well, I still remain content with the fact that I completed the race at all!

Sincheorwon Middle school students volunteered handing out water and prize bags after the race and Korean teachers and friends cheered us on.  I will safely say that this will not become my favorite pasttime, nor will I be training for the next marathon, but it was a great experience and glad that I challenged myself a bit. Instead, I am challenging myself to some long distance bike rides in the future.  I just purchased a brand new Samchully Hound road bike and look forward to biking to the next town and all around Cheorwon, with the goal of doing an 80 km bike ride to Chuncheon before it gets too cold!  Wish me good luck with my bike training and happy fall!
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Jhet on

Congratulations! Run 10 K in half an hour! Amazing! Love your sense of humor kiddo! You got it right, welcome to he club "One must try everything once" :-))) or twice or trice... if it resonates with your heart and soul, that is. Hugs. J

Mom on

This blog is a riot. You are so funny. Love it!!!

Robby on

Way to go Johanna.....5K's are enough for me also. and I MUCH prefer the bike. I love your red/white/blue one. Happy rides.

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