Running, Travel

Music Half Marathon, Moscow

“All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says.”

~ Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

I was inspired by Murakami in the run-up to my first marathon in 2010.  First, his literature was gripping and full of an indescribable tension, like love or balancing a spoon on your nose – difficult to do right, playful and mildly exhibitionist.  Second, his take on running in the above-mentioned book was right up my street. I had visions of taking on a marathon every year for the rest of my mortal days in his honor.  A mysterious Moscovian illness kept me from my third back in 2012, but I’ve been planning the comeback ever since.  For the time being, I’ll suffice to run two half marathons in a season.  The first of which being…

The Music Half Marathon in Moscow, organized by Adidas, was a splendid event.  Materials in English, pace runners, whacky-wigged, high-fiving supporters (volunteers), live music/DJs the whole way, excellent medals, and a view of some of Moscow’s most historic sites to help shape your own ‘homemade void’.

Moscow route

Pretty flat, out and half-way back route from Luzhniki Stadium to the Kremlin.

There was the usual stone-faced police folk lining the route, but past the noticeable lack of public support, it could have been an event organized anywhere in the Western world.  I ran the 2011 Adidas half marathon  (the first clip shows the outrageous registration line and later you can see many of the 90 degree turns in the race.) and the organizational quality was night and day. Very happy to see the improvements over time…

It was the first time I’d run that far in the Merrell Barefoot shoes since I bought them last summer. I’d like to think that the epic calf cramps I got towards the end of the race were not associated with them, but maybe others can attest to such happenings… They could have also been down to the cold wind and rain that pelted the last few kilometers, but one can never know.

Wet, but happy to have finished. Total – 1:41 (unofficial).

Wet, but happy to have finished. Total – 1:41 (unofficial).

The second half marathon will be a sojourn to Yaroslavl in mid-September. Hopefully I’ll be able to connect with some Burlington-Yaroslavl Sister City people, too.

I’ve seen far too little of the “Golden Ring” towns, so ticking off some UNESCO World Heritage vistas will be a treat for the ‘homemade void’.



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