This was the last thing I wanted to see at end of 25 minute run. For the first time I took the lift up 😬
Run 2: There's a promise of a strong easterly so I head to the park. The first few minutes seem an eternity, then I find my pace. Hint: Very slow. An older, white guy dressed in casual, black clothes and sunglasses runs towards me. On his feet are a pair of black Birkenstocks. He holds his arms out either side of him, like kids do when they're pretending to be an aeroplane. He lifts his knees high as he runs. He is magnificent. I wonder if he has come directly from a night out in the infamous Lan Kwai Fong nightclub area and is still high as a kite. He's almost flying like one. The next time we pass each other, he is holding his hands out in front of him, as though checking for rain. The third time, he is running normally-ish, but the high knees running and shoe choice still make for an extraordinary sight. I wonder about his life, not least of which is that I cannot fathom why anyone would be out running in this heat dressed as he is.
The promised easterly wind does indeed exist, just not in the sheltered park where I'm running. I labour through the run and joyfully realise I have somehow timed the finish of 25 minutes to being near the vending machine mercifully selling Pocari Sweat, an aptly named sports drink. I will miss the park and the people in it; they absolutely make my runs.
Run 3: Still not prepared to brave the beast treadmill, I take the option of route 2 around the local buildings. I pop my running-in-the-rain cherry as the typhoon headed for Hainan brings feral conditions locally. Mick Jagger sings Paint it Black in my ear. I think of Vietnam, of the young grunts humping through the jungle in the most horrendous of conditions. Ha, and I think this is challenging? The first troops sent over were issued leather boots, old kit leftover from the Korean War. It took the powers-that-be a couple of years to realise the men needed canvas boots to match the climate, and changed the footwear and uniform materials accordingly. Cold Chisel's Khe Sanh begins. [I'm sensing a theme.] I visited the Khe Sanh battlefield last year... Now a beautiful, peaceful place, it does not bear the markings of the exercise in futility that was the war of attrition. War... what is it good for? My musings of doom are halted as I try to jog down a set of stairs. With jelly legs and feeling faint, I finish the run and week 7 wishing I had started this in January. But I didn't. I'm doing it now and that's all that matters.