Saturday, May 1, 2010

Closing a Chapter

Today marked a bit of a bittersweet day for me here in Taiwan. This morning, I ran what will most likely be my very last race in the country that has been our home for the last two years. Taiwan will always be the place that morphed my casual jogging into what some might call an obsession. I ran my first race about a month after we arrived and I was forever hooked. Today’s race was particularly special because I got to run it with about ten other teachers from our school. But, most importantly, Chris and I got to run the whole thing together for the first time!

This race also put me in a slightly different role. Several weeks ago, a few teachers at our school expressed interest in running so I looked and found a 9K race here in Taipei. Why they didn’t just go ahead and round it to 10K, I’m not sure, but it seemed like a good distance nonetheless. So, I spread the word about the run and interested individuals of varying levels of athleticism made the plunge to sign up. I offered my far-from-expert assistance to help people train to prepare for the distance. We had a great time training together and it was so awesome to see people challenge themselves beyond what they thought was possible.

This morning, we all set off with the 9K goal in mind. It was so fun to see so many familiar faces throughout the sea of people that usually remain unknown to me. Shouts of encouragement in English from one “teammate” to another were a welcomed addition to the morning. And, as I mentioned before, the major bonus of this race was that Chris and I got to run the entire thing together. We even crossed the finish line at the same time. Isn’t that just precious? Now we just need to find a witness to tell us which place we each got…

As each teacher finished, they joined the crowd waiting for the rest of our crew to cross the line. Not only did everyone make it, but everyone met their personal time goals! Promises of continued running in each of our new places of residence next year were sprinkled throughout the conversation as we made a beeline for the nearest Starbucks to reward ourselves. It was a perfect way to finish Taipei’s chapter in my running catalogue.

1 comment:

lizzy said...

maybe when you are back this summer we can run a 7.6k and also a few 12.8 k's..... looking forward to seeing you and Chris!!