Light Up the Dark Side

Nothing interesting is happening these days aside from work and the occasional meal. I want to go around hunting for more Christmas, but I just can’t find time. I can’t compromise my beauty rest for going out! The act of living is a challenge in itself.

But of course, I don’t have absolutely nothing, or else I wouldn’t be here in front of the computer today. Last Saturday marks the second time in my life that I ran a 10 km race! The first time was 5 or 6 years ago (I really can’t remember), doing the Sun Run in Vancouver. I used to play soccer 3 times a day back then and I went into the race without training at all. All I thought was psh, 10k, easy peasy… and of course, it took me way longer than I expected to finish. I think I made it to 6k before I finally stopped and had to walk for a bit. Still, even after alternating a bit of walking between my run, I finished in about 80 minutes. It’s a horrible time, but now that I know a bit about running, I’m proud of myself for finishing that one at all!

The race I did on Saturday was a night run, sponsored by Skechers. Well, they were releasing a new line of neon runners, and they also partnered up with some organization to encourage young people to get out and do some exercise. That’s why the whole event felt very trendy – it’s to attract us kids! A few tents and a stage was set up at Pak Shek Kok, right across from the Hong Kong Science Park (near the Chinese University of Hong Kong). I went straight there after work on Saturday, and arrived well in advance of the start time. There wasn’t too much to do, but I took my time to check out all the booths there, and did my warm-up.

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There was a 3k run and a 10k run, and out of the 2000 people that signed up, I think it’s split up pretty evenly. Personally, I don’t see the point of doing a 3k run – that would take just 15 minutes! But I guess it’s a good starting point for kids that never did exercise before. That group of people set off first, while the 10k runners had to wait until 7:30 for our start.

The route was very nice. Only a little part of it was detoured away from the promenade, and most of the time we were running right next to the water. At 7:30 on a winter evening in Hong Kong, it’s a bit chilly, but once you get yourself pumped it’s easy to stay warm.

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Amazingly, I finished in under an hour – 55 minutes! That’s quite an improvement from my Sun Run record, although admittedly I had a few years to practice. Of course, that’s still nowhere near the top times of this race, but that’s the best thing about the sport of running. You don’t have any pressure to compare with other people. Just beat your personal best, and that’s already a good enough accomplishment to achieve a rush of adrenaline!

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My eyes are open for the next race to come my way. Sadly, I will not be joining the race that gets the most attention in Hong Kong – that annual marathon sponsored by Standard Charter Bank. It starts way too early in the morning and people aren’t even in it for the exercise! But if you see anything that might appeal to me, be sure to let me know!

P.S. What’s the best way to celebrate finishing a race? Replenish the calories.

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