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 2017 / JAN / 20   DAY 2 

【Start】Lower Nantian Village → Alangyi Historic Trail → Xuhai Grassland → Provincial Highway 26 → Manzhou Township →  Kentington【Camp Site】

40 km, total climb 696 m, 3 water stations

 

In the morning, the temperature of the Shouka Biker Rest Stop was as low. I was cold and shivering. After I started to run, my body warmed up gradually. So I put my jacket inside my backpack. From the starting point, it should be all the way downhill. However, the fatigue from yesterday has not yet gone way. With the vibration of my every step, my quadriceps cried. Runners around me speedly passed by one after another. I could only run and walked intermittently in pain. There was still 50 km to run today. Once I thought of the distance ahead was still that long, I only hoped it won’t take me too much time today.

 

Arriving the Mudan Township following a flat road, passing by the entrance of the Dongyuan Forest Recreation Area. While I was wondering why there were no tourists, a road sign directed me to turn right, and I saw a group of hikers. They told me they are heading to the Alangyi Trail. The following road segment brought me to a different scenery. Mountain on the one side, the Pacific Ocean on the other. This is the Provincial Highway 26. Along the highway, most of the time I was running alone, besides a few cars and photographers taking photo. There weren’t many cars. The Pacific Ocean on the left, in combination with the military building on the right. Appearing empty, the buildings were eroded by sea wind, feeling like a military story.

 

Listening to the waves, looking at the scene, running on the endless road, I have forgotten the time duration. I didn’t know how far was the journey ahead. I was hungry, and wanted some warm food. All along the way, I imagined once I would arrive at the finishing point, I would definitely order american fast-food. After a while, a saw 2 volunteers in a yellow vest. Finally I have arrived at a replenishment station! Here is already very close to the Jioupeng Desert. It is a pity that the Desert is not part of the route. The sea wind is strong and cold. I quickly asked the volunteers to boil water, so that I could have a cup noodle and regain my energy. While I was having the cup noodle, Brother Yao-Duk has arrived. He has participated for a few times in this Taiwan Race. He still remembered he swore when he run along the following uphill segment. He repeatedly reminded me to verify whether what he told was true.

 

After a cup noodle, I was ready to run again. I remembered after a few hundred kilometers, the uphill segment began. What an endless uphill segment! This segment is about 30km long, meaning there was still another 20km before the finishing point. I haven’t run this segment before, and didn’t know how much of this 20km was uphill; but I was certain with my tired feet and the weight of my backpack, I only wanted to walk like a soldier. I have forgotten how long I have been running. The music from my cell phone was the only entertainment and cheering tool. Suddenly I heard some sound of movement from the bush at the back on the right. I looked up and saw a Taiwanese monkey was looking at me. So I wasn’t lonely. The segment followed was uphill, uphill, and uphill. Endless uphill. I ran and walked for about 10 km, 2 NPUST students cheered me up from far away. I have arrived at the final replenishment station (Feishuiling community). This is also the end of the uphill.

 

In this final segment, I didn’t look up. I didn’t want to know how far the distance was; until a car appeared far away, and a person standing on the side, looked like a photographer. I quickly restored my spirit, I must run before a camera. I asked the photographer how far I was from the end. He told me I was almost there. I thought, isn’t it the biggest lie in a marathon? The end is right ahead?! After a short while, I saw a road sign far away, showing the Kentington Resort was on the left. I took a look, there appeared to be a few buildings there. This felt heart-touching. The torture of Day 2 would finally end!! The final right turn into the entrance of the Resort, hearing the cheers from the volunteers. I took my cell phone out to record the moment of my final dash. Looking at the smiles of these volunteer friends, feeling they were ever more happy than myself reaching the finishing line. They were cute.

We stayed the second night inside a white building of the Kentington Resort. It looked like an administration center not in use. There was a restroom on the side, so we could took a shower to relax. There was even beds inside the house. I thought, I must be able to sleep very well tonight.

 

 

  2017/JAN/21   DAY 3  

【Start】Kentington → Fengchuisha → Shuiwaku → Longzipu Grassland → Provincial Highway 26 → Sail Rock → Downtown Kenting → Kenting Youth Activity Center【Finish】

 

This day I didn’t need to set my alarm clock, because I woke up from the noise from everyone getting up. I quickly packed my sleeping bed, and ate my final pack of unpalatable instant rice and cup noodle. I inspected how many energy packs remained, thinking how should I distribute these energy packs over the final 25K. I packed my stuff and went towards the starting point. In front of the start point, volunteers and the working team were waiting the athletes to start. The starting point of Day 3 was particularly crowd, because the executive officer of Hengchun gave a speech, and some staff of the Kentington Resort joined the Day 3 of the race.

Today, runners were particularly excited when they took the group photo, because it was the last day of the race. The expression on everyone’s face was obviously different from Day 2. After the starter pistol, I remembered I shouted “I can go home!” and started moving forward. On Day 3, perhaps it was because of a lighter backpack, or feeling relax, I ran a bit faster than the previous 2 days. 10 min after start, I found I ranked number 5. The 1st and 2nd leading runners were about 50 km away from me. Thinking of my remaining strength, I decided not to chase. The 3rd and the 4th leading runners were also not far away, within my sight. I decided to keep my current pace, to avoid myself burned out prematurely.

 

The sun rose, but it wasn’t burning. The breeze from the Pacific Ocean was cool. There was only a few clouds in the sky. There is no runners ahead nor behind. I was the only runner on the Longzipu Grassland. The sky was light blue. The grass was green. Suddenly I felt very touching and graceful, that to be able to freely run is very blissful. I thought, this must be Runner’s High! Running on the Chuanfan Road, tourists in the B&Bs should be still sleeping. There was an illusion when I ran here. I thought I was almost to the finishing point after I entered the urban district. In fact the finishing point is still 4km away. Although I have already run a half-marathon. The final 4 km could be the longest distance. What’s more, it was uphill.

 

The sun rose, but it wasn’t burning. The breeze from the Pacific Ocean was cool. There was only a few clouds in the sky. There is no runners ahead nor behind. I was the only runner on the Longzipu Grassland. The sky was light blue. The grass was green. Suddenly I felt very touching and graceful, that to be able to freely run is very blissful. I thought, this must be Runner’s High! Running on the Chuanfan Road, tourists in the B&Bs should be still sleeping. There was an illusion when I ran here. I thought I was almost to the finishing point after I entered the urban district. In fact the finishing point is still 4km away. Although I have already run a half-marathon. The final 4 km could be the longest distance. What’s more, it was uphill.

 

I could only fight against the final uphill with a continuous positive thinking. Finally, there was a hotel building ahead, right on the left was the Little Bay Beach, the finishing point is within less than 1 km! Turning left into the driving lane of the youth recreational center. There was a volunteer ahead on the driving lane, shouting back towards the finishing point, the 3rd runner is coming! Volunteers and staff ahead were lining up on the two sides. I raised my hand to clap their hands. The scenario was like a slow action in a movie, deeply impressing. I used all of my strength to run towards the finishing line. I remember I gasped, turning back and made a bow to the racing route. Next, I received from Chris a rather heavy finish medal that hung on my neck. I couldn’t believe I have finished this 3 days’ race. Finally, I was kind of shouting, “I want KFC!!!”. I have endured enough from the 9 meals of instant rice and cup noodles in these 3 days. I only wanted the comfort from fast-food!!

 

 

 

 

At the end, I sat over on a chair to rest, and talked to the volunteers and SUPERACE staff about my feeling of these 3 days. I could finally smile! My mood in these 3 days was varied, sometimes up, sometimes down. The trough must be in the afternoon of Day 2, when I ran all the way in the endless uphill road. The whole segment was tarred road under a burning sun, testing more patience than endurance.

 

After chatting, I walked awkwardly to collect my stuff. I took a comfortable warm shower, and sat on the floor to stretch. I stayed in the Kenting Youth Recreational Center to rest and waited for the celebration banquet. This was the best meal within these 3 days: with rice, fish, meat, and soup. Dining and chatting about the race with the fellow athletes on my side, feeling very well to be able to return to Earth.

 

At the venue of the celebration banquet, the organizing unit SUPERACE efficiently displayed the photos taken during the race, to let everyone recall the every step and every scene within these 3 days. I felt it was like a dream. Despite the physical soar and the very complex feeling of the 130 KM road trip, being able to complete the race without injury at the end was a sense of achievement and satisfaction. This was a biggest bliss in the hearts of all runners.

 

 

 

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