Last weekend, we celebrated Rich's first birthday abroad! The teachers at school were nice enough to buy Rich a cake on Friday too, and got just what he wanted: a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake. They all packed into the director's office in total darkness and surprised him with the beautiful cake topped with candles and a very heartfelt card from the Korean staff. It was very very sweet.
That weekend, we did some barbecuing on the roof of our building and cooked up some galbi and sam gap sal on the grill with friends; some new, some old. Afterwards, we headed out to a Pohang Steelers game and it was an exciting one. The Steelers are now in the top 3 in the country, and we were playing one of our greatest rivals. We were down 0-2 in the first half, but managed to win 4-3 in the end, what an exciting second half it was! People were screaming and cheering and hundreds of Steelers flags were flying proudly.
The starters before the game, waving to the fans...
After the game, we headed home to rest, because the next day we were scheduled to run a... 5k!! That Friday, we were informed at work that the school had three available spots for people to run in the 2011 Pohang Beach marathon. It is a huge event that many people come here to participate in, and this year, there would be 10,000 other runners with us. We of course agreed, grabbed our race packets, and headed out.
That morning we left for the race area at 8am, and it was already sweltering hot and very, very sunny. The race started waaay too long after we got there, we didn't even start running until close to 10! But despite that, it was great. Despite the sun, the heat, the crowded race loop, it was all amazing. It was my first 5k race ever, and finishing was really emotional and filled me full of pride. I wasn't sure I could do it, but Rich and I did it strong and finished really well.
After the race we were treated to lots of kimchi, gimbap, roasted duck, and rice wine. Apparently, Koreans, after they finish a race or something else really physically exhausting, they eat and drink their little hearts out. And I am more than happy to follow THAT tradition!
Rich and I pre-race
Now we're looking for more races to do around Korea and looking to train for longer races too. We've started running in the mornings before work, since 1. it's really the only time we can and 2. with the heat of the summer coming in full swing now, it's the only time the temp is right for comfortable running. We'll definitely keep you updated on running in Korea, and any more races we do in the future!