October 11, 2004
It has been over a month since my last race… this is pretty unusual, because I normally do more than one race per month.
This gap in my racing is due to a family trip that had been planned for 6 months. My sister, Riva, noticed that there was a really good airfare deal from Cathay Pacific to Bali. I have a little history in Bali. I have been there a half dozen times, and most significantly, I turned 8 years old there (we were traveling at the time). It is one of my favorite places to go, both for the food, the weather, the culture and all of that wrapped together.
Part of the deal on the airfare was that you could also stop in Hong Kong for a few days in each direction. Hong Kong is on an even par with places I really like to go, for slightly different reasons. Hong Kong is a HUGE bustling city, and not the same as Bali in pretty much any way; however, the Chinese culture aspect and just everything there is very appealing. I guess Hong Kong is comparable to LA, NYC or Chicago, but more multi-cultural (with an emphasis on Asian culture).
So… I flew outwith my parents from LA, and we spent one day in Hong Kong on the way out. At the airport, we met my sisters (who flew out that day from Texas) and continued on to Bali. We were joined a few days later by Riva’s husband.
Bali also marks the inception of my running career. I had a picture taken by the pool and I felt I was getting fat… hence I started running to get into better shape. Riva and I went for a couple of runs, but Bali is pretty humid this time of year (of course, it’s always about the same – 75 degrees, 75% humidity, day and night). A little wet, but not too unpleasant.
In Hong Kong, Riva and I went for a few runs as well. It was also humid in Hong Kong, but we went early in the morning to avoid the heat and wet. Although difficult, this run is amongst my favorite ones to do.
We always stay at the YMCA (in Hong Kong, a regular hotel), which is on the Kowloon side and about 3 blocks from the Star Ferry Terminal. So Riva and I run to the Star Ferry Terminal, put down our $2.20 HK to cross (about 25 cents). Then we run along the “raised sidewalks.” There is no sidewalk in the strictest sense of the term, but you can traverse above the street along the sides of buildings and overcrossings.
After a time, we do get to actual sidewalks, but now we are about halfway up the peak, and on Old Peak Road. This is an awesome road that takes us up to the top of the peak. And by awesome, I mean 20% grade for a mile! Riva can actually run up it; me, not so much.
Once we get to the top, then we reverse course and head back to the hotel. It’s probably 5 miles, including the RT ferry ride (but probably only 4 miles of actual course). We did the course both mornings we stayed in Hong Kong on the return trip.
So… by the time I got back to Long Beach and was up to doing the Boeing 5K, I had not really done a lot of aerobic activity – a lot of walking, so for the race I felt OK for about 2 miles, and then I started to fall apart and walked in almost all of the last mile… but I still finished in 23:44.