From Katherine’s Blog Bid Me Run This Moment:
Pikes Peak Elite, AKA “the distance squad,” is reporting in after the 6th CISM 2015 Military World Games in South Korea!
First and foremost, we are extremely thankful to the South Koreans for putting on such a memorable event. South Korea is one of the most hospitable culutures that exist, and everything was incredibly organized. They were so polite and quite funny, too!
South Korea itself is lush with green foilage this time of year, with lots of crops to harvest and flowers decorating the streets and walkways. Our athletic village in Goesan, 40 minutes away from the competition village in Mungyeong, was fluttering with excitement each day; much like how the first day of school feels. It was fun to hear so many languages being spoken, so many colors transversing to and fro. I have never felt so much pride representing the United States of America.
During our four days of track and field events, everything was abuzz with competitive interest as we all gathered together for our love of the same sport, although we all wore differing colors across our chest.
Personally, racing the 5K on the track in this one-of-a-kind environment was one of the best running experiences I have ever had. It was unbelievably exciting, and it was a lot of fun! I ran a race that I am extremely proud of, and I am so blessed to have had the chance to represent my country in one of the best ways possible.
The dining hall was one of our favorite parts of the trip. Various teams gather together for meals in the same dining hall. South Korea did a phenomenal job accomodating to all the differing countries and their ethnic foods. It was fascinating to taste a little bit of everything! In the dining hall, everyone gazed at one another with interest, and we could not decide if they were sizing up the competition, or taking note of our gear (as it was tradition post-competition to trade gear).
Speaking of trading gear, that was definitely a highlight of the Military World Games. Everyone wants other country’s gear for various reasons, but mostly it was fun to trade with newly-made friends, who were previously your competition, to take a tangible memory home with you. We traded enough gear to remember this experience for a lifetime!
Lastly, as far I am concerned, I am so blessed to have shared this unique experience with my current Pikes Peak Elite teammates and my new USA teammates. There is no better experience than that of family. We spent practically every waking moment together…. those included logging miles through the South Korean country-side, cheering one another in the stands, telling stories in the dining hall, singing songs on the bus, pulling continuous pranks on each other, playing multiple hands of cards, and sleeping in our camp-style beds. There is no way to measure the amount I laughed during our trip. Although I am saddened to have had this journey come to an end, it has been and will forever remain something treasured in my heart.
Panoramic view of US Armed Forces at opening ceremony