This Standard Chartered Marathon is special. Last year I could not complete, having to stop after 30 km because I could not train properly, because I hurt my ankle. My ankle recovered enough just before the marathon so that I could run, essentially without any training. So this year, I hope to do better. Unfortunately, i had to take a couple of trips in December, and then I got sick, so training was interrupted. But I was hoping that I would at least be able to finish.
Last night, my wife heard that the Reporters Association would be asking the runners to wear a blue ribbon, in support of press freedom. So she made me one. At the starting line, I was given another one. So I actually had 2, proudly. When I got to Wanchai, about 2 km from the finishing line, I had to stop to stretch because my legs were cramping up again. At that point, a policeman approached me, in a polite way, and asked about the meaning of the blue ribbon. So I told him about the ribbon and why I had two. I was surprised that the policeman did not know about it. Isn’t it their business to know about such pubic events and social action?
There were also some sharks just like the past years, even though the costumes were a little different this year. At one point, one shark was chasing another one, while greeting another in the opposite lane. Shark infestation! But this kind, of course, is welcome by everyone.
It was cold and windy. But overall a joyful event, and good for social cohesion. I actually used it as a case for discussion on the topic of “Diversity in Society” in our subject of “Service Learning: technology across boundaries” on Saturday. Academic studies do not have to occur only in the ivory tower.