One thing I did not expect to be doing on this study abroad was running my first race! Luckily I’ve got some great friends with great ideas who found out about this 10K race that was going on in Amman at the same time as an international marathon. When I first heard about it my reaction wasn’t enthusiastic because A) I’ve never been much of a runner and B) I didn’t actually know how far in miles a 10K was. So the girls have been planning on this race for weeks, they got registered and paid the fee and have been running a few times a week at the Sports City trail and I’ve been tagging along for the exercise. Then, at the beginning of this week, I finally figured out that a 10K is only a little over 6 miles… not 10… haha. And we haven’t been running quite that much but I knew I could run at least 4.5 miles without too much struggle so I went to get myself registered too and ran a little more than normal this week to get prepared.
This morning we got up to go to the race and felt pretty crummy and nervous… not really sure why we signed up for this. But we headed out anyway, found a good place to start stretching out and getting ready, and noticed a guy peeing right next too us. That was kind of weird so we moved to another spot where some other intense runners were already stretching and doing warm-ups. There we noticed this intense, very flexible guy who probably wouldn’t have been any more modest if he was wearing a speedo. Right before I took this creepy picture we were sitting on the ground stretching and he was doing some very intense toe-touching stretches right in front of us… leaving nothing to the imagination hahaha. Anyway the race was great! I didn’t feel pressured to race fast so I was able to really enjoy myself. The first several kilometers were a little bit hilly but I had a lot of energy to begin with so that wasn’t bad. The view was gorgeous too! They closed down a big main road that leads to downtown and past the amphitheater, which was all downhill, so that was really nice. Apparently there were signs for every kilometer so you could see how far you’d gone, but I never noticed them so I had no idea the whole time. Every few kilometers there were water stations where people on the sides just held out water bottles for the runners to grab. It was hard to drink while running so we’d just take a couple sips and then poor the rest over our heads to cool off. THEN, we’d epically throw the bottles and caps on the ground to the side of the road and keep running without breaking pace. This sounds like it looked pretty cool, but it ended up turning into target practice, where all the punk kids would see if they could take people out by throwing the bottles at their feet. That, added to the water making the ground even more slick, made for a pretty dangerous obstacle course. It made things interesting for sure.
Unfortunately, because of how many people were there and because of road closures, our roommates weren’t able to get any pictures of us running… except one! Jenni and Sarah-Kate got a taxi and tried the best they could to get as close as possible to the finish line to get pictures. Their taxi driver was trying as hard as he could to get them close when they came out on this street just to see Jadyn running by! The odds of that are crazy… props to Sarah-Kate for the quick shot. So it’s the only action shot we have, but it represents proof that all of us did actually run, because we didn’t get anything else hahaha. Here’s a picture of us finishing! The coolest part about this race is that all the stuff we got like the medals and t-shirts and bags all say ‘Amman International Marathon’ on them! So we look just a little more intense than we actually are, but I’m okay with that 🙂
After we finished, we found Sarah-Kate and Jenni and decided we wanted some pictures from a good vantage point of the finish line, so fifteen minutes after running my first 10K we climbed this fat staircase. Luckily, the view was totally worth it! Even though I thought my legs were going to give out. Behind me in this picture you can see the ancient amphi- theatre, where we finished. This is right in down- town Amman. And here’s us with our marathon bags! We’re such a good team 🙂 All in all it was a blast… so cool to get involved in the community in that way! It was definitely a challenge and we’re all pretty sore today, but I’m definitely doing this again sometime 🙂