As it happened: Run For The Kids 2k17

My training for the Wings for life world run has been on for the past five weeks. I am not sure when I registered for the Herald Sun’s Run for the kids 2017 but I am pretty sure why I did it. It supports a great cause! It supports the kids at the Royal Children Hospital, Melbourne. It supports what I love selflessly. During the entire run, I made sure I high-fived every kid who was waiving their hands at the huge number of runners swarming by. And I loved their smile when our hands touched. It pumps me up and made me run faster than I thought I’d sustain.

RFTK runs on two courses: 14.3k and 4.8k (roughly 9 and 3 miles). I registered for the former one and considered it as a long run for my training schedule. During the past weeks, I made myself comfortable with the distance running 11,14,15 and 18k‘s respectively on my weekend long runs. Fortunately to me, I have a running club that lets me run with them when they do speed work. Thanks to them, I got a 5k PB last week, it boosted my confidence to run faster. With this training, I left home early in the morning to reach the venue on time. The weather had been shaky in the early hours but was relatively great later. Being living away from the city, it takes me around an hour to get to the start line. I changed into my running clothes in a public washroom while doing the thing. I was just in time to drop off my baggage and to get to the start line to stretch up before the countdown began.

My strategy was simple. Go easy for the first 10k, step into the next gear thereafter. I can’t have a sense of how many people were running alongside me but there were many. Or may be, many, many. Never in the race for once I ran with no-one along side me (It’s good and bad). The first lap was fairly simple with everyone running literally at the same pace. Then we entered a tunnel where my Garmin FR15 lost contact with it’s satellite for the next lap. On exiting, I got two lap-readings. One of 8:54 and other of 1:54. Definitely, it was crazy for doing these calculations but I was happy that it had snap out of it to get me the correct readings thereafter.

For the next 10k’s, I kept running at an easy pace. I checked with my watch time to time because I wanted to run a sub-50 10k (which I did). I met a fellow club runner (I recognized his singlet) and ran with him for some 4 k’s. We passed over a couple of bridges, ran alongside the huge Ferris wheel of Melbourne city, raced with the Yarra river. I made sure I was not letting myself go, just yet. I kept smiling at the volunteers who were doing an amazing work of scattering the enthusiasm throughout our minds. I thanked them for taking the time out of their lives to make sure the runners stay hydrated.

As the markers after 12k started coming nearer, I cranked my pace a bit. I saw someone wearing a singlet of University of Melbourne (my university) which really made me felt great however I was in no mood to have a conversation at that point. Being not familiar with the course, I was adjusting my pace according to the inclined roads and some steep slopes. Not too far into the uncomfortable zone, I found myself on the last bend (based on what spectators were shouting about, and also on the beep of my Garmin that it was 14k point), just one more track-lap to go, I thought to myself. Some of us sprinted, I joined them. Many of them beat me, I beat some of them. I crossed the finish line in just under 69 minutes which I was extremely happy about. I was expecting a 70+ finish time.

 

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Pose after the finish

 

Finishing up, I had some drinks and a free apple that the organizers had provided. It just made my taste buds go crazy. You can not hate a fruit after a wonderful run, take that from me. I have found the best tasting fruits (they were just normal fruits) after these long runs. I packed my bag and walked back to Flinders Street Station. On the way back, I saw two kids racing each other and their dad calling “Look at them! They are also running” pointing to the runners still underway. I told him that the older kid would probably run next year. I told him about the two courses and wished him luck before finally getting towards my train.

 

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People running their hearts out for the lovely kids.

I am definitively going to the next edition of the race 🙂

 

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Day Three: Yehliu Geopark

(Read it on MultiEMOtions Android App)

This is the last day of our trip. After the morning hike, as we reached hostel, luckily other people were planning to go to Yehliu too and we caught up along with them. We left the hostel around 10.30 AM and grabbed some breakfast and took the bus to go to Keelung. Here is the detailed journey:

After we were finished with Yehliu, we thought that we could spare some time to go to Tamsui (Danshu), but the bus took around 1.5 hours to get there and it was already quite dark. So, rightaway we took MRT from Tamsui to Taipei and got back to Hsinchu.

Lavender Cottage, Neiwan

(Read it on MultiEMOtions Android App)

Neiwan is a little peaceful place in Hsinchu county. Not a lot of tourists, you can peacefully spend your entire day in this small town. If you are in Hsinchu and you’ve worked hard enough to exhaust yourself in weekdays, I will suggest you to take a trip to Neiwan on weekend. Let me start my trip.

Journey started from Hsinchu train station. We took a local train to Zhuzhong from where we were supposed to take a train to Neiwan. Direct trains from Hsinchu to Neiwan are quite less.
Journey started from Hsinchu train station. We took a local train to Zhuzhong from where we were supposed to take a train to Neiwan. Direct trains from Hsinchu to Neiwan are quite less. This trick is therefore recommended.
Train to Neiwan at Zhuzhong train station
Train to Neiwan at Zhuzhong train station. Colorful, funny and comfortable. Takes you along the countryside of Hsinchu to Neiwan
Arrived Neiwan
Arrived Neiwan. This little train station is beautiful and peaceful in the morning. We reached around 9.30 and it was quite a nice environment out there.
This is the contact details for Lavender cottage. We called to check the bus timings. You can ask about where the bus station is, to someone local by showing this picture
This is the contact details for Lavender cottage. We called to check the bus timings. You can ask about where the bus station is, to someone local by showing this picture.
This could further help you. It has bus timings and is the ticket for transportation and entry to cottage . Just 100NTD
This could further help you. It has bus timings and is the ticket for transportation and entry to cottage . Just 100NTD
Entry view. Beautiful! Isn't it? Right from the beginning to the end, flowers weave your way through the excellent surrounding and mind blowing view
Entry view. Beautiful! Isn’t it? Right from the beginning to the end, flowers weave your way through the excellent surrounding and mind blowing view

Just at the entrance, we got inside a gift shop which was selling a lot of things, mostly related to lavender such as scents, soaps etc. To summarize, many things in purple.

And then without wasting much time, we spent around 2 hours inside the cottage which was pretty relaxing, beautiful and silent. Pictures will take on from now.

I think it is very convenient to go to this place as the transport bus is not so rare. It is a nice place to have a good time with friends and family in the not so known side of Hsinchu. I hope this post will convince you to go to this place atleast once while you are in Taiwan. In case you have further questions, I would be glad to answer.

Yangmingshan, February 28, 2015

Yangmingshan is a scenic natural park in Taipei area. It is one of the place to go and just relax amid the beauty of nature that it provides. Besides the natural beauty, it offers a mild experience of trekking along the way. Though it is really big and I could only cover a little part of it during the day.

Azaleas, cherry blossoms is one thing that makes this place extremely suitable for eyes and soul. These little pink flowers among the greenery makes the view so perfect and calm that if I could wish, I’d be here for forever. I think it is better that the photos should speak themselves and I’d be quiet for a moment here. Have a look!

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My journey to this place was not for too long, yet I had a pretty awesome time. I recommend this place highly if you come to Taiwan to visit some good places. It is a good place to spend time with your friends, family and even alone. There is nothing beautiful than the beauty of nature and Yangmingshan truly reflects it.