in People's Republic of China

Shanghai Marathon 2010

Just finished the half marathon of Shanghai 2010. Unfortunately I didn’t beat my last years time of 1h 44m but ended at 2h 02m. Although I did successfully train to beat this time. Besides I also did a detox week to further improve my health but it didn’t work. However, it was a great marathon experience. Instead of last years ‘run to the factories’ this year was a tour of Shanghai’s tourist scene’s. I studied the elevation of the run the night before and noticed this year had much more variation then last year, bridges and tunnels, so my strategy was to save my energy to the last bridge and then run myself to bits. Prepared the night before, I got up at 5:45 and took a cab to the city center at 6:45, didn’t meet my friend Richard but had some time to look around and noticed that this year’s run is much busier then last years. At that point, but soon the temperature rose to a good 18˚C. Too hot for running I think, with the sun on your face but nice climate. Like always, there is a dedicated block for runners in front of the start line, but it was all filled up, it was so crowded that I just gave up on pushing people aside and enjoyed the excitement around, people from all over the world joined in. The race started on Nanjing dong lu (南京路) and for the entire road, up to the bund, I wasn’t able to run due to the busyness. But then we turned to the bund and it was beautiful, the rising sun, the clear sky and the pearl tower and such on the other side of the water made me run with a big smile on my face. Awesome to be running in an area that is normally dedicated for cars only.
There was the Fuxing tunnel (复兴东路隧道) which is 3 km long and goes under the Huangpu river (黄浦江). As this was the first elevation I tried saving my energy. Half way in, there was the climb, it became hot and sweaty and many people forfeit and started walking. By the time I was up, I was also hit hard and decided to run slower phase for a few kilometers. At 15km I could pickup my speed again and this was when we passed the EXPO site. Then there was a clear straight run over the bridge, after which I could use all my energy. I ran together with a Chinese man, we kept motivating each other, he gave me some energy food as well which was nice. The end was at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center (上海东方体育中心) stadium:
Typical Chinese ending to finish in an unfinished stadium. Dusty and filled with surprised (but still busy) construction workers. We were forced into a tunnel into the parking area of the stadium, people were drilling and it was very dusty. My main goal was to get out if there as that was the last thing I wanted to be. Then I met Anja at the exit and together we waited for Richard for a little while. Both of us agreed that this years run was a lot more fun then last year, more interesting course and nice weather. Also good to see the Pudong side of town, I hardly ever go there!