Stephen Sullivan is a gastroenterologist and marathoner, who worked in Saudi Arabia. The following is excerpted from his unpublished journal, Letters from the Magic Kingdom, which is a compilation of letters to family and friends detailing his experiences, in this case on a particularly painful, but worthwhile, run.
Today was race 13 in the Riyadh Road Runners' seven-month racing season. The season begins the first week in September with a fun run and then settles into a schedule of a race approximately every second week. It is a point series with nine of the 14 races counting towards the club championship. Included in the schedule is a three-race, 10k series and a cross-country championship. There is also an award for the runner with the greatest number of points. The only way you can win is to run every race and place reasonably well every time. This year, my training partner, Stefan, a crazy British Polak who has been in Saudi Arabia since sand was invented, will win it for the second year. Stefan doesn't take holidays during racing season. Can't risk missing a race.
... The two best runners missed a few races because of military commitments or being unable to get back from holidays. That is the only reason I won the 10k series with a 1st, a 2nd, and a 3rd. It is also the reason why, if I win the last race of the season next week, I will be tied with a 31-year-old Brit for the club championship (unless our two club speedsters come back). ...
... Peter is the Brit's name and hill running is his game. He just returned from his home in Cornwall where he ran hills to the pub everyday. I think he was homesick. Picture this:
Now who said I wouldn't be able to run in the Magic Kingdom?
(Published with permission of MedHunters.com.)
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