Over the weekend, I went with eight other teachers from International English and Cultural Studies and two students from Langfang Teachers College to Changping, China--a district of Beijing-- to run the 10 K race as part of a series sponsored by North Face. The race itself was fascinating and challenging for all involved (most of us were running our first race at this distance), but my favorite part of the weekend was being able to be with each other in such a picturesque setting and being able to build community with them, as we live so far away from one another and rarely get to see each other outside of large-group gatherings. We ran the race around the same resevoir where the 2008 Olympic triatholon was held.
I ran the entire race without anyone I knew near me. I had a pace in mind, but (as with many things) it was hard to continue motivating myself to push forward. The most fun I had during the race itself was running by other runners who seemed to be struggling and yelling, "Jia you peng you!" which means, "Come on, friend!" in Chinese. I don't know if doing this was a sincere encouragement to some people walking on the side of the course, but I know that I would be reinspired should someone have done this to me in the reverse circumstances. All in all, everyone ended up meeting their goals. I finished with a time of 56:30.
After dinner the night before the race
Me standing on top of the resevoir
Left: Stretching together before the race; Right: Race faces before the Start!
The Starting line
Wil Corder, Wan Li (student from Langfang, China), and I after the race