Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon 2013

Three years ago I only saw five a.m. on the back end of a good night out.  Three years ago I couldn't ever imagine waking up at five a.m. for any reason, and yet that's what I found myself doing yesterday.  And not just waking up for any reason, but to run in a race.  Not a long race, but a race.  Three years ago I couldn't have run fifty feet without stopping for a quick vomit and a nap, but after a couple years of running off and on, I can at least manage a 5k.  And that's why we woke up at 5 a.m. yesterday and jumped in a car with our friend and co-worker Wayne.  Every year the city of Gyeongju sponsors a marathon in conjunction with the cherry blossom festival.  Come spring time the flowers and the people of Korea pop out and start getting active.  Thousands of racers from all over the world descend on Gyeongju to run alongside some stunningly beautiful trees.  This year, for the first time, Sara and I participated in the awesomeness.  Our goal was simple, beat each other.  Amazingly we tied.  Sara led for 90% of the race until I sprinted up behind her and caught her at the finish line.  A photo finish I don't have a photo of, maybe something will pop up on-line.  All in all it was a great way to spend a morning, running, racing, and hanging out with a couple thousand people.  Glad we did it and we're already planning for our first 10k.  As always, here's 10 pictures and some foolish comments.

Everybody got medals.  Here's Sara testing the quality of the gold.  Turns out, not so gold.

Even I got a medal.  For brightest green running shirt, which is saying something here in the land of super bright outdoor clothes.

The start and finish line.  We ran the 5k and were done in 20 minutes...ok, ok 27 minutes.  Our friend Wayne did the half-marathon and he finished in just under two hours.  Impressive stuff.

Here he is.  Champion.

A couple of winners.

Of course we need a couple pictures of the flowers.  The week's storms blew away most of the blossoms, but there were a few trees here and there hanging on.  Not as beautiful as some years, but still impressive.

I love these little pink ones.

We skipped out on the after party, but if you're into beer and Korean food after a long run, this would have been a good place to hang out.

One last flower.  Spring will be full on soon and Sara and I are planning on traveling as much as we can in the next four months.  Can't wait for all the beautiful spots and great pictures waiting out there.

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