Last weekend I went back to Dalian. This time for the Dalian International Marathon. After several races in the mountains, I was happy to run again on the street, focused on speed.
I arrived Friday morning and spend my time in the city after I picked up my bib. Dalian is a nice city. I like it there. The city is like all cities in China loud, dirty and full of crazy car drivers but it has many mountains, beaches and nearly no smog because it’s located on a peninsula and surrounded by windy ocean.
I had my marathon pasta party (that doesn’t exist in China 🙂 ) with meat and seafood on the local street food market. So delicious but you need a tough stomach or the marathon the next day will be hold at the bathroom. 🙂
The marathon starting line is located around 60km out of Dalian at the local famous beach resort. The city train brought me Saturday morning at 5:00AM to there and after the chaotic assembly time, we started at 8:30.
This race was not a race like the ones I ran before. On that Saturday morning, one of my good buddies here at my hometown was buried. He died three month ago in an accident and it needed such a long time to get all the paper work done.
Therefore, it was not fun at all standing at the starting line that morning, reading the hateful text messages on my phone from other people complaining why I’m here and not there. But haters gonna hate, so what?! It’s my own private business what I’m doing in such a situation. I carried a photo from my buddy at my race belt and I thought he will lent me his angel wings to give me some extra speed. The time was flying during that run and memories of all the good times with my friend came up. This might be also the reason that I reached the turnaround after 21.1km at the racetrack and my running watch informed me about a new PB for the HM time. 1:33:10 !!! Thanks, my friend!
Ok, now all the way back. Just another 21.1km. At the way back, the headwind had dried sweat and tears, but made it impossible to follow up with the previous speed. At km 30, all power was gone and made it very hard to finish the race satisfied.
The typical return stress started. Back to the city center, hotel, shower, check-out, taxi, airport, check-in, boarding, landing, get the car and a two hour drive back home.
After the race is just before the race, that’s why I have to prepare now for the next race this week Saturday. The Tianmu7 race, one of the toughest mountain trail race in China. But that’s the topic for tomorrow.