Cheaters never prosper

Looking for a way to make your college application more impressive? Several dozen Chinese students thought they knew just how. Since physical aptitude counts for extra credit in the “gaokoa,” China's university entrance exam, some students hired faster runners to carry their time-chips for them in the Xiamen Marathon. They were caught when organizers discovered on video footage that one runner would register two or more results when passing the finish line. The fact that several hired the same runner to compete for them might indicate they weren’t really college material.

Gotta run…


When honor trumps usefulness

I tried out my new Camelbak at camp this year. It came in handy because our camp is situated in Ardèche, the least populated region of France where villages, and therefore fountains, are few and far between. The Camelbak was my prize for finishing the Geneva Marathon back in May. I'm pleased to have the hydration system, but what I really wanted was a t-shirt to wear proudly as proof of having completed a marathon. I feel a little jipped because several weeks ago I saw a runner wearing a Geneva Marathon t-shirt from a previous year. I did receive a medal that is hanging in our hallway, but I don’t think I’ll wear it much.

Gotta run...


Tour de France

As we drove up to summer camp, we saw that the road running along camp property had just been repaved; a dead give away that the Tour de France was passing through! Friday was the big day. We made sack lunches for all the campers who walked down to the road early enough to see the caravan go by. (The caravan consists of tour sponsor vans from which all kinds of goodies are tossed to the fans.) When it was almost time for the actual race to come through, I put on my Nikes and ran down to the road. The first group of campers applauded when the saw me coming. I stopped and talked with them for a few minutes before heading to the top of the hill several miles away to join the older campers. It was odd to see this normally deserted stretch of road lined with thousands of people. In fact, the road was so crowded I missed my group and had to backtrack about a mile to find them. We heard and saw the helicopters first, then the breakaway group sped by. A few minutes later, the pack whizzed by. It was awesome to get a glimpse of the yellow jersey and the Swiss champion! As I headed back to camp, many of the onlookers cheered for me, whereas they had completely ignored me on the way up. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience!

Gotta run...


Excuses, excuses

For several weeks I blamed the heat for my sluggish running. Now I'm at camp where it's not so hot and I'm still moving slowly, but the elevation is quite a bit higher. That's my excuse now. I'll have to be creative and find a new excuse after I get home. Maybe the fact that I will have just spent two weeks cooking for 180 people... Yeah, that could work.

Gotta run...


Here today, gone tomorrow

I miss M.B. Since meeting back in January, we've been running together about once a week, but now she's away for the summer. We'll be playing tag team because a few days after she gets back Husband and I leave for five weeks. In that short window of opportunity between her unpacking and me packing, M.B. and I plan to fit in at least one good run.

Gotta run...


Getting to know you

In the past 14 weeks, I’ve entered 7 races. They have been evenly spread out at 2-week intervals (except for a 3-week break after the Geneva marathon, then just 1 week before the following 10K). It was quite cold on March 27th for that first race, but I suffered from the heat at this past Saturday’s event even though it took place 9:30 am. As the season has progressed, I’ve talked to more and more fellow runners, learning all kinds of interesting things about them; like why this one guy always wears a t-shirt that says, “Jesus in coming back.” So you see, the weather is not the only thing that has warmed up.

Gotta run…