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Page 4

rear view of marathon runner in park showing lettering on back of shirt saying Finisher Full Marathon


Taking it to the next level

At the park where I walk, I’ve observed a few individuals who “jog” for short distances (usually about 50 meters at a time) followed by a short walking recovery, followed by a short jog again. I’ve been pretty amazed that it’s even possible to run in the heat and humidity that is Vietnam. Of course I realize indigenous Vietnamese have lived here for thousands of years and have a much different metabolism than I do, but still… 

Today, I was given a whole new perspective. As I was slugging along the path around the lake, wishing this heat wave would end, a Vietnamese runner went rushing by me. On the back of this person’s polyester t-shirt it said, in English, “Finisher – Full Marathon”. As a former runner who completed six marathons myself, I immediately felt a strong unspoken connection with this person. Then…wham!! the reality of what this statement meant struck me head on!

This person ran 26 miles, 352 yards in the sweltering heat and humidity of Vietnam!! 

I felt I should prostrate myself out of sheer respect! 

Regardless of where the marathon was run, the training took place in Vietnam! 

During my five walked laps around the park’s lake (2 kilometers/1.24 miles x 5 = 10 km/6.2 miles), this individual lapped me a number of times, before disappearing into the streets of Hanoi. Uber impressive!  

Oh…note the open-toe, clog-type running shoes!  To think I used to pay big dollars for brand name running shoes that would only last for 3 months of training…If I'd only known then what I know now.



p.2, p.2 photos, p.3, p5