The 7th Annual International Peace Marathon Festival started and finished at the stadium where the 1988 Olympcs took place in Seoul.
Before the start of the race, everyone massaged the shoulders of the person in front of them. I was skeptical at first, but literally EVERYONE was doing it so I didn't want to be that weird foreigner that didn't.
The full and half marathons went off before my race started. They released balloons (bummer for the sea turtles) and set off fireworks for the start of each race.
I had a goal of around 46:30, so I wanted to run each Kilometer in about 4:36. I went through the first 2 KM exactly on pace, but was feeling good so I cautiously sped up a little. The course went out along the river on a bike path, but it wasn't closed to the public so we had to dodge a few bicycles here and there.
I was really pushing hard, but not paying too much attention to my splits. I kind of wanted to slow down, but I kept reminding myself how awful I'd feel if I finished and knew I could have gone faster. So, I held onto my pace and tried not to think too much about how much time I had left.
When I checked my watch at the 8 KM mark, it said 36:12 and I knew that even if I slowed waaay down for the last 2 KM I would still PR. I just tried to hold on and get to the finish as fast as I could. The time on the clock said 45:17, but it was chip-timed, and they're so high-tech that they texted me my official time about an hour after the race: 45:09.
This may be the least flattering picture ever taken of me, but I don't care! I'm ecstatic that I was able to maintain 7:16/mile pace for 6.2 miles!
After the race, I snagged my finishers medal and we headed back home on the subway.
I'm thrilled with how the race went, and I'm really looking forward to the half marathon I have coming up at the end of September. It's great to see training pay off!