The Amman International Marathon
On Saturday, with a group of faculty and students from King’s Academy, I participated in the “Amman International Marathon.” Before you think I’m some sort of crazy intense marathon runner, there was a 10K race too, which is the one I did. However, now I have a bag, a shirt and some other merchandise that indicates I participated in the Amman International Marathon, no qualifiers, so maybe when I’m 70 that’s what I’ll choose to remember.
The race itself was really awesome. I feel like a road race is a somewhat western idea, so it was really interesting to see it happen here in Jordan. The Jordanian take was certainly a little different. Instead of every single person DECKED OUT in head to toe athletic gear even if they were just planning on strolling the course with their fellow 68 year old retirees, a lot of people ran in skinny jeans, a few even smoking cigarettes. No one was putting on any sort of show about their level of seriousness about the race, which I thought was a nice idea. Who cares about false pretenses anyway?
Then, during the race, there was rampant cheating. If you notice on the map of the course below, there are a few places where the course did a tight U-turn and then turned back along the same road – a lot of people just decided to do their U-turn much earlier than the rest of us. At first, I thought this was strange considering it was a charity walk and most of the people cheating were just walking anyway, but then I realized, hey, the result is the same for everyone. The Cancer Foundation gets their money, and they don’t REALLY want to walk a full 10 kilometers, so they’re not going to. Who cares about false pretenses anyway?
Still, it was frustrating to pass a lady pushing a baby stroller and a guy running in skinny jeans with a backpack on at like kilometer 7 almost 40 minutes into the race and think “I know i’m not running very fast, but seriously?? I’m not running baby-stroller-skinny-jeans-backpack-cigarette-smoking slow.” Overall, it was a phenomenal experience. I ran the 10K in 50 minutes, which isn’t great, but I guess that’s not really the point of these things. I’d be lying to myself and you if I said I cared about the time… and who cares about false pretenses anyway?