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Shanghai Marathon

For the past weeks I have been training quite a lot for the Shanghai Marathon. Not easy to fit the training schedule into my busy work schedule, but I have managed with early morning and late-night runs. I feel much better now that I am back in good shape, and feel I can do a lot more work in the same time. And while running I always have many new ideas.

The race will take place on November 26, so still 5 weeks to practice. One of the biggest drawbacks of living in a city like Shanghai is that it is almost impossible to run outside. Therefore I mainly run on the treadmill in the gym. Boring, but a good way to practice running at a certain speed.

But because you cannot only train on a treadmill for an outside marathon, I decided to start running twice a week outdoor. Last Thursday was my first attempt, and it was not a huge success. The running itself went well, I just ran a relatively short distance (8 km) to get used to running on paved roads. But the moment I hit the streets I realized that it was not without danger. Cars do not expect runners, so you have to be constantly alert that they do not hit you. Bike riders are very surprised when you pass them (not that I run so fast, but bike riders normally ride very slow), and sometimes almost cause accidents because of that. But the worst is the people looking and pointing at you like a monkey in the zoo. I heard people scream ‘laowai’ at least 10 times during my 40 minute run! I ran to the Shanghai Stadium, and did some laps around the building, but even there it is busy. Cars trying to find a short cut from traffic jams, and a bus station and supermarket in the stadium do not help to create a safe running environment.

This weekend I returned to the treadmill again for my longer runs (Saturday a slow 16 km in 1 h 30 min, and today a faster 19 km in 1 h 30 min.), that’s a lot safer!

(BTW, picture was taken earlier this year on Koh Samui. For me, running on a quiet beach early in the morning is among the nicest things in the world. Too bad Shanghai has no beaches – yet)

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  1. Laowai litterally means ‘old outside/foreign’ and is used by many Chinese as a word for foreigner (the official word is waiguoren). In Shanghai people are quite used to foreigners, so you don’t often hear people saying it. But when you are running they are so surprised by the sight that they immediately shout ‘laowai’ to their friends.

  2. Hi Mark,

    Good to see the action! What is your target time?

    I just signed up for the HK Marathon in Februari next year…… so if you feel like doing another one….. The temp. and humidity are normally quite good around that time of the year.

    My first event will be a 100KM hike,

    Happy training!

  3. Don’t really have a target time, I just want to finish it. But if I feel OK (no injuries) I should be able to finish within 4 hours.

    The 100K Oxfam Trail is also on my to do list, a friend of mine did it a few years ago and he got me inspired. Let me know how it goes, and if you do it again next year I might join you.

    Not sure about the HK marathon in Feb. I would like to actually, but training takes so much time that I am not sure if I am able to keep that up for another 10 weeks.