Thursday, 2 June 2016

Asian experiences

stats of the week: run 34km
stats of the week before: run 10km

The recent fortnight was full of unforgettable impressions.

After I raced a local 10K within satisfying 47:24 minutes I made my long way to China to visit the famous Great Wall Marathon.

It is a memorable event for every runner. Participants were highly excited, not just to experience running parts of the Wall, but by a route going through local villages and their life.

After 5 days in China I have to admit the Great Wall Marathon would make my only reason to go to China again. It turned out to be the most misantropic country I have visited. The polluted air is well known, but adding to this  many people are ruthless, traffic is a deathrap, food can't be worse. At first glance people seem to live freely. They dance on public places and ignore every traffic rule. China obviously has one of highest differences between rich and poor. Though there is no crime. Obviously this is only thanks to draconic penalties, China has the world's highest death penalty rate, not counted inofficial executions. At the airport we had to show the books we took with us. US software like Facebook, Google and Twitter is blocked and cannot be used. News websites are slowed down. Our local guide did not mention any critical matters. However the marathon was really very nice. While running you just have to refrain from thinking about it.

The following week was another story. I made my way to Bhutan and the Himalayan Mountain Marathon. Bhutan is a very small very mountainous counry counting 700,000 inhabitants overall and estimated 350,000 dogs. The Buddhism and a very wise King make the people happy and relaxed. Everybody seems to be smiling. They don't mind food can get short, electricity can drop out any time, the very few roads are only arduously to be used. Happyness is the law. The law says you might smoke at home but selling tobacco is prohibited anywhere in the country. Road workers from Bangladesh have to live in miserable tents beside their working place. But things are moving forward. The progressive King has installed an elected parliament. Tourist still are not allowed to move freely. They have to be guided by a local agency.

The marathon was a gorgeous little event with a mountainous route and very kind marshals.
I was happy to take part in the half distance. Even this was a very strong test for my knees.

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