Two Exchange Students Participate in the Seoul Marathon
Two Exchange Students Participate in the Seoul Marathon
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2006.11.29 00:00
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▲ Photo provided by Joongang IlboFalkenstein and Klein ran a full marathon with their Peace Buddies cheering them on.

             By Min-joo

             Under a clear and bright fall sky with the weather perfect for a marathon, two exchange students from Ewha ran a full 42.195km in the JoongAng Seoul Marathon 2006, on November 5. The marathon took off at Jamsil Main Stadium with over 20,000 runners. Among them were Christoph Klein and Patrick Falkenstein from Martin Luther University of Germany, who will harbor a special memory of their one year stay in South Korea.

             “This is my second time running a marathon and among the many reasons that I chose to participate is because I wanted to feel the ambience of a marathon held in Korea,” said Klein. Seeing ‘Ewha’ printed on their shirts of these two foreign male runners made other runners eager to talk to them during the race. “Given the chance to talk to other runners especially during the first half of the race when most runners usually run at a steady pace, I could feel that these Korean runners were very open-minded, friendly, and motivated. I was actually very impressed,” said Falkenstein.

             Completing a marathon is frequently compared to the process of living a life dedicated to reaching certain goals. Falkenstein said that, as he was running, he looked back on the past months he had spent and the following months he still has left in Korea. “This marathon can be compared to my one year stay in Korea. When I reached the halfway point of the race, it felt as if I had just finished I finished my first semester. I was tired and ready for a rest. But even though you might get exhausted or start to have muscle pains, you should never give up. Always remain positive. There are also water and snacks to quench your thirst and help with your exhaustion during the race, just as there are rewards along the way in real life too.”

             Falkenstein and Klein said that they trained by running three to four times a week before the marathon in places such as the Ewha gym, the Han River, Yeouido Park, and the World Cup Stadium. The winner of the JoongAng Seoul Marathon 2006 was a 29-year-old Kenyan Jason Mbote who broke the course record set last year by completing the race in 2 hours and 8 minutes. Klein finished the marathon in 3 hours and 31 minutes and Falkenstein reached the finish line a little after that, completing the race in 3 hours and 59 minutes. “I cannot forget the overflowing exuberance that I felt when I reached the finish line and the song ‘My Way’ was playing loudly throughout the stadium,” said Falkenstein.

“A marathon is a chance to test your limits and achieve a certain goal that you have set for yourself. For me, it was the chance to refresh myself, empty my head of all thought, and just cherish the experience with a sense of lightness in my mind. I encourage Ewha students to engage in some kind of sport to savor and enjoy the feeling of refreshing their minds and vitalizing their energy,” added Klein.

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