This Saturday I participated in a run in Hsinchu, the first time in Taiwan. On Saturday morning I met my colleague Paul Sun in the guest house. Then I found out that he was going to participate in the running and I decided to join him. There was a problem, however, I did not have running shoes so I biked to Hsinchu immediately to get the shoes. Surprisingly, their price was very low, I got decent shoes for only 850 NT dollars (approximately 20 Euros). In Finland the price of any decent running shoes is approximately 100 Euros. Quite happy with my shopping, I went across the street to Pizza Hut.
In Taiwan they don’t like pizza. Besides the international brands such as Pizza Hut there are very few domestic enterprises who make their own pizza. Also, they make quite small pizzas. In the US, for example, a pizza is typically 10 inches in diameter. Here it is 3 times as small. But in Pizza Hut you can actually order American-style pizza. But the price is pretty high, I ordered a nice 12-inch pizza for 500 NT dollars which is basically twice the price that I expected. Anyway, I liked the pizza a lot, I should get another one.
Anyway, at 3:30 PM we arrived at Hsinchu coast line where the running was taking place. It is funny that it is the same area in which we had BBQ a month ago. Obviously, this is a very popular place. In Taiwan, you have to register well before hand if you want to participate in running. The registration closes approximately 1 month before the event and they don’t offer on-site registration. In Finland it is always possible to register on-site but you have to pay a higher price, unless it is a highly popular running event such as Helsinki Marathon in which the number of participants is limited. However, when we arrived to Hsinchu coast line we found out that it was possible to register and this is how I got a running number, and T-shirt as a gift. Actually, after completing the run I got a diploma as well. As you can see, it is all written in Chinese! So funny!
Since I ate a few slices of pizza before running I started in a slow pace, probably 7 min/km or so. But after a couple of kilometers I felt that I could go faster so I tried to catch up. Running the rest at a higher pace was easy, probably because 10 km is not such a long distance. But of course it is a challenge, it is not easy to run 10 km fast. So I finished within 53 minutes which is basically the pace with which I am running a half-marathon. This means that in a shorter distance I can do better. Fortunately, there is another running event in November. Looking forward to participating in that one!