Taipei Dream Runner 10k
First off, Merry Christmas Eve! I am so excited to now be able to say I’ve raced internationally! Todd found this race a few weeks before I got out here and with the help of a local guy he worked with, was able to register us online.
It was comical to read the Google translated instructions. The bib was called “cloth,” and the post race food was labeled as “explosive meal,” to name a few. I literally laughed out loud when I read that. The race was at 5 pm and we had to be there by 4:30, so I took my fierce photo and we left the hotel before grabbing a cab.
The cab ride was interesting, to say the least. The cab driver had no clue where we wanted to go and even with a map wasn’t sure how to get there. Todd practically told him where to go. Once we found the packet pick up we got our numbers, shirts, glow bracelets (remember, it was a night race) and stood in line for the porta poties.
My usual race day weather luck followed me to Taiwan and it was 50 and drizzly. Thankfully they had a bag drop off area and we layered our shirts so we’d have something dry to put on after. Everyone was huddled under a large awning with bleachers, waiting for the race to start.
After a quick warm up, we headed to what we thought was the start until we saw people headed another way and thankfully ended up in the right place. The plan was to run a 7ish pace and just cruise. With the cold and rain, we weren’t about to go all out- not that I even could at this point. Todd and I stuck together the whole time. He was such a trooper, running in basketball shorts (because of the pockets) and holding our passports and his phone in a zip lock bag. We don’t like to leave the hotel without our passports and didn’t want to leave them in the dropped bag. He’s the best.
We stayed with this one boy for most of the race. I feel like we spent so much energy on trying to avoid running in huge puddles, when in the end everything was soaked anyway, haha. I haven’t raced a 10k since 2011 and my PR is weak, so I was easily able to beat it with a 43:12 time, taking 4th female overall! I really liked how the finish is set up. You cross the line and walk to one area where you turn in your chip, same as usual, only you get your “deposit” back for the chip- 100 NT. At first I thought it was some kind of prize money and Todd was like, nope, that’s for returning your chip, haha. Oh, 30 NT = $1 USD.
Right after that, you stop to get your already printed out (and in a plastic cover) finishers certificate! Next up is the “explosive meal” which consisted of bananas, water and local goodies like buns, mini cakes/muffins and my favorite, a red bean and rice soup. I had 3 bowls. Remember, we were cold and wet, so soup really hit the spot, and this one was on the sweeter side, but not really sweet like you would think. Check out my glowing bracelet! Ironically it says HAPPY in English, haha.
Everyone was super nice and helpful with the language barrier. A few people came up and wanted pictures with me, haha. I was happy to oblige 🙂 After waiting for like an hour after they finally did awards. It took forever, partially because a proposal occurred!
I was called on stage- it was fun to hear them try and call out my name- and even gave an interview about the race, which was translated for everyone else to understand. It was pretty cool. The trophy was awesome and guess what??? I got my first ever prize money!!! 1000 NT, or about $33. Holla!
This is where the story takes a bad turn… getting back to the hotel was a b****. There were no cabs anywhere, and once we found one, we jumped in and drove a few minutes before finding out he couldn’t take us. This meant we had to re-walk all the ground we had already covered, in the rain, towards the Subway. It would have been no big deal had it not been cold and rainy, but we were wet and freezing and ready to be “home.” We finally made it and enjoyed a hot shower and warm tea… after calling my parents and sister to tell them how we did 🙂