Congratulations to the 21 SAS faculty and staff (eight from Pudong and 13 from Puxi) who participated in the annual Shanghai International Marathon on Sunday, December 2nd. The race options included a 5K Fun run, half marathon (21.1 km), or the full marathon (42.2km) – with the majority of us opting to run the half marathon.
For many, this was our first race and we had spent months training. Starting as slow as a few miles a week and then increasing, run by run, the overall distance. Not only does the training increasing physical fitness levels, but it also gives the confidence and mental training one needs to complete a long distance race.
As Polly Johnston described, “I have always worked out, but have been more of a fast walker than a runner. Then, about four months ago, I started really running and found that I loved it.”
The day started out rather glum with a steady rain and wind that brought the temperature down to just above zero degrees Celsius. Regardless of the weather, there was excitement in the air as the estimated 30,000 runners from around the world huddled together on the Bund for the start of the race. The course wound its way through Bund area, Nanjing Lu, past Jing An temple, the infamous Huai Hai Lu and ended at the Shanghai Stadium in Xujiahui. Along the route, runners were greeted by drumming groups, cheerleaders and general spectators shouting an encouraging “加油!”
"There was a festive buzz in the air. The temperature and air quality was perfect for running. It was a beautiful course for site seeing downtown Shanghai,” commented Michelle Wrzesinski.
The race was both physically and mentally challenging. Despite the challenge, many of the runners finished the race, many with faster times than anticipated. Notable accomplishments include Christine Doleman and Eileen Knobloch who placed number 17 and 89 respectively, within the top 100 of all women running the half marathon race.
“The hardest part of the run was between miles 10 and 11, but I was able to remind myself to slow down and just keep going. Before I knew it, I was almost done. Running across the finish line gave me an incredible feeling of accomplishment, and I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks they might like to give it a try,” said Eileen Knobloch.
Overall, it was an experience for each of us that tested us physically and mentally. A feat we overcame with hard work.
By Maria English, MS/HS Library, Puxi campus