Sunday, July 30, 2017

Running in the Oppressive Heat

Yesterday I had my one of my hardest runs.  Not because of the route was particularly tough with a lot of slopes.  But because of the heat and the bad air.  

I know I can run 20+ kilometres on level ground without serious discomfort, except sore legs and feet.  But yesterday, I felt it hard to continue running after only 13 kilometers.  After I slowed and cooled down in the shade for a few minutes, I could continue.  But after another kilometre, I found I had to slow down again.  And I could only last shorter and shorter durations. When I came near Kowloon Tong MTR station, I gave up, feeling that it might be hazardous to my health, or even immediately dangerous to continue.  

Along the way, in the beginning, I passed under the flyover in Yaumatei where a mini shanty town was cleared.  A couple of people were weaving together a network of ropes.  I wonder why it is acceptable to let people use the public space for commercial activities, but not to let people who have nowhere to go to stay for a short while.  

In a quiet corner in an elevated pedestrian walkway in Yaumatei behind the Fruit Market, a man was taking a nap.  It was still only 10 am in the morning and the heat was not yet oppressive.  Yet I was already completely soaked with sweat.  

Soon afterwards, I passed by another elevated pedestrian walkway crossing in Mongkok.  I remember helping out in Sunday worships organised by an open air church under the walkway a couple of years ago.  Later on another mini shanty town grew up around the structure.  Now that shanty town has also be cleared out.  Where are the people now?

The big shanty town in Shumshuipo was still there.  But how long can it remain?  There were two sisters helping some of the residents there to clean up their sheds.  There were also two police officers going into some of the sheds, but I was not sure what they were doing.  Nether did I stay to find out.  

At around 12 kilometers, in Cheung She Wan, I found that my phone was locked up.  I suspected it was because it got wetted by my own sweat.  So I took it out of my pocket and held it in my hand to allow it to dry while I continued to run.  This had never happened to me before, even when I run in the rain.  So I was worried.  Fortunately, it unlocked itself in 4 minutes, and continued to function.  

In Tai Hang Tung, I passed by the spot where the Ice Cream Grandpa’s  cart was chained up after he died.  Now the cart is gone.  All that remains are just memories.  

I was practically exhausted when I passed the big banyan nearby.  Soon after, I felt I had no choice but to stop, even though I was short of my minimum target of 20 kilometers.  

I was disappointed at myself.  Nevertheless, it was a hard but memorable run.  At the end I discovered I had lost 7 pounds of sweat. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regarding the shanty town.
HK government is awful, today i saw a sign that reads "fight tenancy abuse" but nowhere i saw a sign that reads "fight the landlord abuse" gov always favors the richest on any situation (tenant vs landlord, buyer vs developer, mom & pop shop vs shopping mall, etc).

i wonder (i haven't been here that long) if the uk administration was the same