Saturday, March 31, 2007


Xiamen hosts an international marathon each year on the last Saturday of March – that was today. The race passes right by the university beach, and just about everybody on campus turns out to watch. We headed for the race course around 7:40, crossed the pedestrian bridge (the bridge is very elegant-looking, suspended from cables held by a huge column) and stood about waiting for the race to begin.
We were standing near the first aid tent, and the white-coated workers wanted to have their pictures taken with me, and with the girls. Ah, the downside to celebrity – the paparazzi! It began to rain, and the first aid workers invited us into their tent until the rain passed, so I’m glad we cooperated with the photo shoot!
When the rain stopped, we then stood along the road, with thousands of others, waiting for the first runners to pass. In a marketing frenzy, every business in Xiamen had pennants printed up as advertisement and handed out to the crowds, and we were ready to wave madly to encourage the racers. Even though the rain had stopped, the humidity must have been 100%, and it was really warm. I didn’t envy the runners! The first group looked pretty spry, though they had run for 38 minutes before reaching us.
After the first wave of runners passed, we walked back over the bridge and to the overlook near the girls’ kindergarten. We watched the big pack of runners from that vantage point.
After about an hour, the girls had had enough watching, and wanted to run themselves, so they ran back toward home. Actually, Zoe ran, Maya paced herself by running and walking, and I brought up the rear at a turtle’s pace! We stopped at the store for ice cream to cool off, and then home-again, home-again, joggedy-jog

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