Samarkand Half Marathon

Nadia displays her finishing medal

We had such a delightful time this weekend participating in the Samarkand Half Marathon races. Unfortunately, Ocean awoke on Sunday with a headache so she couldn’t run. Nadia and I ran the 10-kilometer race together. This was her first time in two years she ran this distance. We finished in just over 1 hour, but the important thing was she did it. There were probably 2,000 runners in the event and the race was well organized. The 10K course was a full loop with several challenging long, gradually sloping hills. The course went by the famous Registan, and other sites including ancient ruins, mausoleums and mosques.

TIS faculty pumped at the start of the race

We had quite a few teachers, students and parents from TIS running in the race. I noticed several corporate sponsors sent teams and we will definitely have more of a presence at the event next year. The temperature was actually perfect to run in and it was nice to be out of the dust cloud for a while. The medals were well-designed with the three dots representing Tamerlane’s (Timur) continents that he conquered (Africa, Asia, Europe). Samarkand was the crown jewel in Timur’s empire.

Ocean showing off Mom’s medal

Our hotel was next to one of the mosques Timur commissioned. His Chinese wife, Bibi Khanum, was the project manager of the construction of the mosque while he was away conquering more land. Legend has it she had an affair with the architect and when Timur found out upon his return, executed the guy and decreed women needed to cover to avoid tempting men. We took some selfies with locals as they were excited to see foreigners back in Samarkand. There were large crowds, but with all of the events taking place outdoors, it was much safer from the threat of the coronavirus.

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