Chanman's Blog

Men’s Marathon – SPOILER ALERT

Posted in Race/Meet Report,Report From the Road by Andy Chan on August 24, 2008

OK, I lied. One more post. The marathon was supposed to be on live in the US so I assume most of you know the result. If you don’t want to know, stop reading now.

Malinda and I got up at 7am and went downstairs for breakfast. We
watched the start of the race at 7:30 as we drank coffee and ate the
same Holiday Inn Express breakfast buffet for the 7th day in a row.
Then back to the room and into running clothes. We left the hotel
about 30 minutes into the race.

Then it was like being at CIM – I had my course map in hand, all the
estimated arrival times were on, we made all the right decisions about
which streets to take. But also very different – it is China, after

We took a subway one station south and then ran 1 block. That put us
around the 35K mark…..but we decided to be agressive so we crossed
the street, ran another mile or so to get to somewhere just past the
25K mark. There we waited to see the runners. The runners were on the
street, there were barricades up, and yet the police still insisted on
using caution tape to keep us back some more. One particularly
agressive and overweight cop kept pushing Malinda back. In the
confusion of pushing and shoving between the cops and the spectators I
was able to sneak into the front row. There we saw the lead pack, Ritz
in about 10th and Hall in about 11th or 12th. It was about 1:25-1:30
into the race.

We then took off running again to see them on the course at a later
spot. This time the runners were on the southbound lanes, there was a
lane divider, cars were allowed to drive on the northbound lanes, and
we were behind the bushes lining the side of the northbound lanes. At
least no pushy cops. We had a good spot but were fearful a bus would
drive past at just the wrong moment and we wouldn’t see the USA runners.

Alas, it all worked out. Ritz came by in 10th (apparently he had just
stopped to stretch out a cramp in his calf). Hall was in 11th. I
yelled to Hall that they could put 2 Americans in the top 10 if he
could move up. We waited a few more minutes and along came Brian
Sell. It was very exciting to see the US doing well….all runners I
am quite familiar with through seeing them in person before and reading
about them on LetsRun. Malinda is sure they heard our cheers and were
probably really happy to hear someone cheering for them. The annoying
Chinese hardly clapped for the runners and they insisted on
chanting “China! China!” like they do for everything even though there
was no Chinese in sight.

My watch read 1:46. I figured if the winner ran 2:08, we had 22
minutes to get back to the hotel to see it on TV. We then sprinted
back to the subway, hoped on, got off at our stop, ran 5 minutes to our
hotel, up the elevator, into our room and there was the leader entering
the Bird’s Nest. What timing!

Oh yeah, 2 prize winner announcements.
– Anders wins the 1500 Prediction Contest. Since I was so bad at
listing potential top 10 candidates, only 3 were left by the time the
gun went off. Everyone had Shannon and Jamul medaling (i.e. we all
scored 0 on them). Frank got Lishchynska in 2nd for 2 points. But
Anders got 2 points for correctly predicting that 2 of the people would
not be in the top 7. And Anders’ predicted time for Shannon was closer
than Frank’s.
– Denis wins the award for figuring out that the Chinese characters in
our Go Shannon banner meant “Good Luck”. Monica F was a close 2nd,
about 30-40 minutes after Denis sent in his e-mail.

See everyone soon. We are ready to be home!

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