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May 03, 2015, 10:45:11 PM
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Offline Peter

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On June 14, 2015, I'll be participating in a half marathon in order to (hopefully) raise money for an NGO that helps North Korean refugees in China find their way to freedom in South Korea or in another country that will accept them as refugees. More details in the link if you're interested:
http://give.fivetwo.org/r4r/fundraisers/Running-to-Help-Defectors-Escape-t

July 23, 2015, 10:16:53 PM
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Offline Peter

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Re: Half Marathon to Raise Money for North Korean Refugees .....
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 10:16:53 PM »
A total of $17,462 was raised by the whole campaign. A little under the 20,000 goal, but still enough to bring around 8 defectors from China safely to Korea.

My contribution via my own fundraising link was a paltry $45. I did spend a bit of money at a garden party for runners a couple of months ago
though if that counts, and I think it does.

The race was postponed until July 12 due to the recent MERS outbreak. I wasn't worried about MERS, but I was quite worried about attempting a half marathon in the middle of summer. It turned out to be not all that hot on the day due to a nearby typhoon. Instead of blistering heat (it was still quite hot), we had to contend with rain and, at times, a strong head wind. My waterlogged shoes felt like they had gained a couple of kilograms, and I got blisters as a result. Hence, my time of 2 hours 44 minutes was my slowest half marathon time ever.
Of all the half marathons I've done (I think 5 in total?), this was by far the most painful and the least amount of fun. It was a nightmare to be honest, but it was for a good cause. :) And I just love collecting gold participation medals.

Smiling before the race, oblivious to the pain that awaited me:


Six kilometers to go. So near, yet so far. And by golly, did my blistered feet need that ambulance pit stop!





I made it! Sure, I walked some of the way, but who didn't?


A close up of that beautiful gold participation medal:


While the organisers promised there'd be refreshments at the end and some socializing activities, everyone had gone by the time I had finished. Ergo, they lied:
Quote
Join us after the race at the NKHR and R4R tent! We’ll have refreshments, and you can mingle with other runners and NKHR staff and volunteers!
Come on, my time wasn't that slow!