Wednesday, March 31, 2010

5K in Korea

This weekend we felt really in shape when we participated in the 5K run in Andong. We had to get up early on our weekend, so really, that was harder to do than then 5K. It was my first race so I was excited to see what it was like and weren't disappointed! We arrived at the university stadium to see serious Korean runners all around us preparing for the run. There was also a 10K and a full marathon going on that day, but I didn't want to show everyone up so I just did the 5K (yeah right).
In the middle of the stadium, I was amazed by the hundreds of people doing organized stretching as a man yelled different commands from a microphone. I don't know if we could ever get a group of 10 people this uniform in America, let alone hundreds. A lot of people were pretty excited that foreigners had taken the time to come run the race, but it was another moment where I became extremely aware of being the minority among the masses.

We ran with a group of EPIK teachers, like our friends Garry and Monica who came from Pohang (a city about 2 hours away). We felt awesome as the race started and we ran out of the stadium to "Eye of the Tiger" being blasted on a almost felt like home! Danny and I were lucky enough to get numbers for the race thanks to some of his fellow Korean teachers helping us to get organized. One of them saw Danny pass him in the race so somehow by Monday the rumor had spread that Danny had won the race! He quickly had to tell his school that he didn't in fact win the race, but we still felt like champions!

After the race, we received medals and water and these little cake things that looked like faces with a cream filling and then in proper Korean fashion, the craziness began. It feels normal to see mascots walking around, and usually you expect some sort of big headed animal, but Koreans like to be a bit different so they had vegetables and fruit walking about. I luckily got a picture with these melon heads and it made me feel great because it reminded me of my nephew, Dante...I love ya little guy!

Danny became good friends with the mascots as well and found that he couldn't stay away from the gigantic mushroom walking around.
There were booths handing out all kinds of free stuff outside the stadium, but my favorite part was the 4 or 5 large barbeque pits grilling a large quantity of beef and pork. It was some of the best meat I have had, but I was amazed that people said, "Let's get up early on a Sunday, go run a marathon and then gorge ourselves on meat!"

Danny had found a few of his students in line waiting to eat their weight in pork, and whether or not he had won the race, they were very impressed that he came out to run among the people. Come to visit just so you can have the feeling of being famous like we get most days. All in all it was a great day, and we hope to do it again.
P.S. On a side note: our fish Kitty had a close call last night. Our friend Sara found him floating on his belly but fortunately we were able to get him in some new water before it was too late. He seems to be doing good but your "Get Well Soon" cards would be very much appreciated! ; )


  1. You guys do your best to keep my niece/nephew fish alive! I've never met a Korean fish before.

  2. Thank you Robb for making the relationship to Kitty and Chubs clear. I guess I hadn't thought about them that way until I read your comment. I am glad that fresh water was all it took to revive our grandson Kitty (won't Poppa like that, he has a grandson Kitty!!)! Glad you enjoyed the race and can be an example to your students by winning!!! ;)

    Love you
    Momma D

  3. Literally LOL at the comment about Dante. Hehe, your picture of the melon headed guys reminded me of my young son also.