Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hong Kong Marathon: Go Phil

In a flurry of activity prior to turning 40, both Phil and I have signed up for a number of semi-crazy events. Phil was on deck last week with the Hong Kong Marathon, which he completed not in record time but without walking. The Hong Kong Marathon received a lot of bad press last year with top runners getting ill due to severe air pollution. That was not the case this year but it does set the scene. This was a very urban, concrete and gritty race. Phil started on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbor, ran out to Lantau Island over various bridges and then back to Hong Kong through one of the big tunnels. He finished up in Central, running on roads that were partially closed to traffic.

This marathon was definitely the family man’s marathon. Phil got most of his long runs in during the work week, mainly forgoing his carpool and running into the office. On the weekend of the race, the whole family except Phil came down with the flu. Somehow we were healthy for a 12 hour stretch during which we went downtown to watch Phil cross the finish line.

On the way to the finish line, I finally got the kids used to the idea that Dad was not going to win the entire race. That was a hard one for them to swallow. As we waited at the finish line, the kids were shocked to see some runners in various stages of extreme fatigue limping in across the finish line before Phil. But everyone rallied when Phil came around the corner. The kids quickly climbed over the barriers separating the crowd from the racers and joined him for the final hundred yards. After finishing Adam quickly ate all the free food Phil would have received. Tori pulled me aside and confided that she slowed down her running pace so Dad could keep up at the very end. It was definitely a family man marathon; no personal record, no food, and no respect but a battle won in the war against turning 40.


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