Saturday, April 16, 2011


... in Taiwan is quite different from running in the States. Allow me to elaborate.

But first, some backgroud: Kayt and I have been running together since last October... six blissful months of cool Taipei weather. Great. Yesterday, I was surprised by a burning sensation in my eyes caused by the amount of sweat dripping from my forehead. Bummer. And it's only April. Double bummer.

Maybe because we've been in Taipei now for the better part of a year, I am no longer surprised at the many oddities of our situation as female runners here. In general, there just aren't very many women who run, and even fewer white, foreign women. And so naturally, we've acquired some sort of celebrity status. Bizarre.

And so how is running different in Taiwan? I know you're dying to know. Well, without further ado.

Like... in the middle of a race, a man asking to take our photo. Unblievable! Two women, white women... running! We're racing here, can't this wait? Or, at another race, when a group of Taiwanese rugby players crowded in around us and pointed a camera at us. Can we take photo? they asked. Do we really have a choice? we smiled grimly.

Like... the man who saw us last weekend and said, "Da-an! Da-an!" (That's the name of the park we run at.) We smiled and nodded, trying to identify any hint of familiarity. Nope. I guess we are a bit more recognizable. Sigh.

Like... the green bean (not the veggie) soup that was provided as post race fuel last weekend. I thought I would be a good sport and try it, but one slurp about did me in. Excuse me, but where are the bagels and bananas? Oh, right... this is Taiwan.

green bean soup = perfect post race fuel? I think not, but thanks anyway.

Like... the man who was astounded at our record-setting pace and asked us after our run yesterday how he could improve his time. Well, in my expert opinion, sir...

the end.

Kayt and I ran another half-marathon last weekend. It was a bit grueling, but we managed to improve our time and exceed our goal. We were pretty excited. As we were walking away, Kayt noticed the stage and table with trophies. Do you think we got anything? Ha, I doubt it. I laughed. Well, we thought we'd better just check.


As it turns out, we had placed 2nd/3rd in our age range and were awarded massive, gaudy trophies. Are you kidding me? In retrospect, it's quite easy to place when there are only five women running.

All this to say, my return debut to running in the States will be anticlimatic, to put it lightly.

I think I'm okay with that.



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