As we draw to a close for the year 2014, is there anything particular that you is especially memorable for you?
Perhaps, a special vacation, a new job or a new beginning?
I had quite a few high points this year. Let me share with you one of them.
Being an avid runner, I made it a point to do an overseas race out of where I am based. I had this in mind in Jan 2014 and decided that I would sign up of the next international race (without hestitation) I came across.
I received a mailer from the Taiwan Running Association on one such event. Almost immediately, I signed up for it as a birthday present for myself.
The race is the Asics 21km run in Nantou, about an one hour's drive from Taichung, in high altitude.
As I drew nearer to race day, I took leave from work and booked an air ticket to Taipei and the accomodations in Taipei and Taichung as I needed to collect my race pack in Taipei and to meet up with some ex colleagues.
After collecting my race pack in Taipei, I headed to Taichung where I have booked for myself a nice hotel to some serioulsy good rest before and after the race.
On race day, I was awake early despite having just a few hours' worth of sleep. Also, I did not want to miss the transportation to the race venue. No way I am missing this after travelling all the way here!
I took a quick breakfast, got geared up and hailed a cab to the pick up point.
The mini bus was still there when I arrived. Throughout the bus trip there to the race venue, I was very awake and did not even take a nap. I was running on adrenaline (pun intended).
When I arrived, I was blessed with a cool temperature of 20 degree Celsius, a sunny day and a rustic, natural scenery. All the ingredients of an enjoyable race were in place.
It took me a while to get used to the terrain as it was a place I had never ran before (It was constant up and downhill ! I didnt know I signed up for that!) The dynamics of the race crowd were also vastly different from those I am familiar with.
The race was very well organised with plenty of hydration stations, well stocked with pre-broken biscuits, bananas and drinks along the way.
Along the way, I enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Many runners like myself stopped to take photos of the little town we went by.
The villagers were also very warm and friendly. They came out of their homes to cheer us on.
Crossing the fininishing line was aboslute elation. I collected my finisher's medal with thanksgiving. Lunch was even provided in the form of a bento set.
I share with you some photos I took that day.