Vegan's Chronicles + [seoul]

My Bada(ss) 5k Race

I ran my very first 5k race this past Saturday, at the Bada Marathon! Here's how my morning unfolded:

After a restless night (I was too anxious, excited, and nervous to get any deep sleep), I got up on at the ungodly hour of 5:30 AM, ate my usual breakfast of oatmeal with apples and kiwi, packed some belongings, and jumped on the subway to get to Yeoido Han River Park. When I got there, the venue was already bubbling with activity.

The main stage, tents and sponsor booths were all set up on a huge grassy lawn right by the Han River, and it was crowded with people of all ages, warming up, stretching, pinning their bibs on, etc. Everyone was in high spirits and it was all really exciting! There was even someone on the main stage leading a mass stretching session over the loudspeakers, counting loudly in Korean for all the ajushi's and ajumas to follow along. There were also a good amount of foreigners that were there with 'Team Dirt' and the 'Seoul Flyers Running Club,' many of whom were dressed up with flags and face paint to represent their respective countries (fun!). Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to take photos~

The Half Marathon group, before they headed to the start line.

The 5k was the last race to start after the full, half, and 10k races already kicked-off. Two of my friends made it just in time to run their 10k, while another friend joined me for the 5k. We were quite far from the actual starting line, so even after the gun went off, it was probably almost a minute before we actually reached the start line. Right away, we had to do a lot of weaving in and out because a lot of people in front of us weren't actually running! But once I passed all the walkers, it was easier to maneuver through the pack, and from there, it was pretty smooth sailing.

I didn't really have much of a goal in terms of speed or time. I was just aiming to finish strong, run the whole time, and hopefully come in under 40 minutes. Well, I finished in 29 minutes! WOOOOT~~! The 5k runners didn't get electronic timing chips, and since I started so far behind the starting line, I'm not sure what my exact time is. But it was definitely around 29 minutes, or maybe even a little less. I know that's not fast compared to most runners, but I'm really pleased with it, considering this was my first official race, and the fact that I'm an extreme shorty. It was very cool. I have to say, in the second half of the run, my competitive side came out of hiding! I picked up the pace and pushed myself to pass as many people as I could. And it felt awesome passing that finish line.

After the race, we got to pick up goodie bags that had our finishing medals. Unfortunately, the gift bags also included a box of dried anchovies, a sweet pastry bun, and a chocolate candy bar, none of which were vegan. I ended up just taking my medal out and handing the rest back to them. It's sad to think how many shriveled up anchovies were given away to each and every runner... such a strange, cruel gift! I would prefer a box of dried fruit, thank you very much.

Anyway, I'm so happy I did this! All of my friends also made great times, and we think this is going to become something regular. I might try the 10k next! It's awesome to think that I've found a new hobby that is healthy, social, and even fun.