Samsung 5K

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Since coming here to Korea, Ryan and I have started running more and we’ve been really enjoying it! Our friend told us that there was a 5K sponsored by the other shipyard on Geoje island (about 20 minutes away) and so we signed up. I originally signed up for the 10K and so did Ryan, but my calf had been bugging me so I changed it to the 5K the day before the race. Since I had changed the distance, I had to run with someone elses’ bib (Rachel). We got to the race to check in and missed the memo that we were supposed to wear white long sleeve Samsung polos that had been provided (this is primarily because we don’t work in their yard).

After a little while, there was a dance performance – it was literally a dance team that was performing on the track. There was also a guy yelling out a lot of things in Korean who looked almost identical to the newly internationally famous PSY. Finally, they signalled for all of us to spread out and do some stretches before the race. Once we had all spread out, they started blaring Gangnam Style and had a choreographed routine of stretches led by a woman on stage to the song and of course it involved the horse dance…it was hilarious!

Everyone all lining up for stretches on the field

They had everyone line up for the race on the track behind the starting line and then they started giving us directions in Korean…of which we didn’t understand but we figured it out watching all the Koreans start to follow his instructions. They all lined up in single file lines and starting massaging each others’ shoulders and then he yelled and everyone turned around and started massaging that persons shoulders…totally goofy. Then they started playing some music and everyone started jumping and clapping and then they started yelling for the 10 seconds before they fired the gun for us to go.

Ryan and I with our friend Kristie – all geared up and ready to run!

The race was a neat course because it went through Samsung’s shipyard which we hadn’t seen before. I was feeling pretty good during the race (very surprising because my calf was killing me the weekend before) but I decided to sprint the last 300m to the finish line. It was funny because a few of the Korean men that were running next to me tried to keep up yelling, “Ohhhh, you so fast!” As I hit the finish line, a group of Koreans came up to me and put something around my neck…finally someone came over to explain to me that I had gotten second place for women. I couldn’t believe it and I was pretty excited!

Ryan finished his 10K like a champ and they offered us some celebratory kimchi and tofu which I declined politely. Luckily, we found a tent that had some fruit and juice instead so we munched on that.

A bunch of the Samsung employees got together and performed a dance song to…I bet you can guess which song! Check out the video…it was pretty good (the little kid in the green trying to dance like them makes the video even more fun)!

We thought that we had some time before the award ceremony, so we went for a walk. As we were walking back to the track, we heard some award sounding music but I thought the 5K would be the last award because it was the last to start. As we rounded the corner, I heard “Rachel” and I realized that I was supposed to be on stage because I had run under that name in the race. I ran up there and joined the other 7 ladies that were standing there already and they gave me an award (certificate and trophy are both in Korean) and made us turn around and wave to the “crowd.”Ryan took a picture of me at the finish line with my trophy – all in Korean – certainly an interesting souvenir for us!

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