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My race

31 March 2010

In case any of you were anxiously awaiting my results for the Jeju ultra-marathon I had told you about previously, well it’s a big fat ZERO.  I didn’t even make it to Jeju, let alone the starting line of the race.  Lace booked our flight out of here, but didn’t realize I would still be teaching when it was to take off, so we were unable to be rescheduled for later that night and thus spent the weekend in Seoul.

I am totally bummed I didn’t get to go to Jeju and see its beauty and cheer on my real runner friends, but a bit relieved I didn’t have to embarrass myself by attempting to run 50k.

I found this story today.  Think if I had gone, I would have pulled something like this:

Shizo Kanakuri disappeared while running the marathon in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm. He was listed as a missing person in Sweden for 50 years — until a journalist found him living quietly in southern Japan.

Overcome with heat during the race, he had stopped at a garden party to drink orange juice, stayed for an hour, then took a train to a hotel and sailed home the next day, too ashamed to tell anyone he was leaving.

There’s a happy ending: In 1966 Kanakuri accepted an invitation to return to Stockholm and complete his run. His final time was 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds — surely a record that will last forever.


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