Last Saturday, 17 September, was the successfully fun second annual “Cha Bu Duo” 5km, 10km Fun Run! It is Shenyang’s premier running event – it is the only running event in the city! For Mandarin-challenged readers, cha bu duo is Chinese for “more or less”, or “close enough”.
Thirty participants ran a 5km (new this year) or 10km course and the FUN is emphasized as there are no prizes for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd – every finisher gets a medal – and of course everyone finishes! Dunkin’ Donuts (the real thing!) were waiting for us at the end, along with water, bananas, and other potluck goodies.
Personally, to have a bunch of people gathered to do one of my favorite activities is like a bit party celebration and a super way to end my time in Shenyang. I ran my “cha bu duo” marathon with a 20 mile warm up before the 10k. My Garmin said that I ran 26.29 miles in 3:39 – another BQ and not bad for stopping to take photos during the 10k part! It was a pleasure to serve as race director, do a bit of coaching, and get everyone pumped for the event! This was a big day for some as they participated in their first ever 5 or 10 km run and the first time they ever got a medal placed around their neck. I am so proud of them!
This year I decided to make it a charity event to raise money for Chinese families who foster abandoned children. Families can get some support from the government but it is often not enough to cover some essentials necessary for proper development. We want these children to receive the best and these families who care for special needs children need our support. Last Saturday, we raised 2800 rmb ($439)! Thank you everyone! Way to go!
After the run, people were asking what is going to happen to the “Cha Bu Duo” next year as I left Shenyang this week. I can’t make any promises, but it would be grand to return to put this on again. As much as I can be in charge of my schedule, I’ll try to do it. I do have ongoing projects in the country, why not make the visits around September? Who knows what can happen?