Shanghai Running Magazine volume 1, Q1 2014 - Page 28

Shanghai Running, We Run Shanghai Cont... I passed the turn-around point and also the 2nd water stop and was already now beyond 5km with the boring part of course now over. I was approaching the gate and pool area and was happy to see storms of children lining the course. They were all reaching out to the racers for High Fives. I saw some runners taking the time to specifically go smack as many hands as possible „whopping it up‟ it was quite adrenaline pumping seeing all these kinds screaming encouragement with huge smiles and waves. I was infected by this moment and also gave my fair share slapping high fives taking my mind off the run and putting a grin on my sweating face (the temperature was now in low 20s but sun was blocked by trees so still quite nice). I passed a barefoot runner who then over-took me. A few KM later I saw him take a face plant 15meters in front of me (I‟ve fallen in a few races so know that feeling well – quite embarrassing) / he got up quickly and seemed fine / but he never passed me again ;<) I came through the ancient door my pace a little slower now around the 5:15 mark and knew I was not going to break my best ½ time this year of 1:42 so decided to just take it easy. I rounded the corner at the Elephant Terrace and amazingly started passing a few giant elephants carrying 4- 5 tourists each coming the other way. As I approached the South Gate exit I could see an Elephant coming through at the same time I was going to pass. How cool it was to have to slow down and squeeze through the gate at the exact time an elephant was coming through. I then was passed by a runner who had a Hash House Harriers (the international drinking club with a running problem – where I actually first met the founders of SH running) t-shirt from Vietnam / I shouted ON ON and he turned and said “can‟t wait for a beer at the finish”. I was now nearing the 19km mark and felt quite good and really started to pick up my pace – I could still see the back of the Hasher a 150 meters or so in front of me and set my sights to beat him (I take a little pride in being an above average hash runner). The crowd was thickening with 1km to go and I was gaining but still a bit off so moved up to another gear. As I passed the Hasher and tried to shout “Beer Near” which was but barely audible as I was sprinting the last 100 meters through the finish and clicked my GPS watch (1:48 – bit slow for me but was a sensational fun run). I picked up my race medal, had a quick drink of water then a pee and headed to about 400 meters from finish to get some pics of my Singaporean friends‟ finish. As I was waiting they started to announce the winners – we had on the mens side a Japanese, Aussie and American as 1,2,3 and on the women‟s side it was a Singaporean, Philippino, and Brit (I guess not enough prize money to attract the Kenyans) all sharing the podium – the full race results are included with this link http:// Copyright Shanghai Running 2013. What an end to a fantastic weekend and this Cambodian Khumer Kingdom running experience was like kumbaya to a catholic boy‟s ears. I highly recommend this race/weekend to anyone who has wanted to visit Camdodia/Angkor Wat. What a superb weekend and a magnificent country and people. Postscript The only unfortunate part which I learned later was that the race organizers ran out of medals. I did a quick survey of my friends and between 2:15-2:30 ½ marathon times they ran out – so believe this would represent hundreds of people finishing without receiving a medal. I know this was many runners 1st ½ marathon and they would cherish a race medal. I also know how difficult it is to organize a major run in a developing country (being very close to my friends who organize the Kenyan Ultra). The runs proceeds are for charity to help local children and those disabled and hurt through land mines. I think the organizers should reach out to see how many runners truly want medals and see if there is a low cost option (not to take away from the charity) in providing them. I personally would try and assist with the logistics to help keep the costs down to the organizers (so organizers if you’re reading this please contact me for assistance). I want everyone to go away with a positive feeling on this race, city, etc and would hate to have lack of medals as a small issue on what should be a dream weekend. 28