Thursday, September 27, 2012

Writing to Beijing

Now the Beijing marathon delay is becoming more and more official (so far it was only news reports from the Financial Times and Runner's World that indicated it was cancelled).  I'd be lying if I said there wasn't still a little part of my heart that was hoping they were wrong.

But now the official marathon travel organization for foreign runners posted an announcement on the webpage:
Dear marathon runners,

China International Travel Service, Head Office received an urgent notice from the Beijing Marathon Organizing Committee (BMOC) that the prior designated race date (Oct. 14th) is largely PRONE TO DELAY due to multiple factors. No further information is available from the organizing committee yet.

We advise you NOT to book Beijing flights and hotels at the moment in case of any schedule changes. CITS, as a designated marathon entry agency for foreign amateur runners, and as China's largest and most trusted state-owned travel operator, fully understand the situation and feel sorry for all the inconvenience. We deeply regret the organizer's inappropriate moves on the announcement of race date and will spare no efforts in urging the committee to publish their final arrangements. For applicants who have already paid the entry fee yet cannot come due to the delay of information shall e-mail us at to apply for refund. We'll reply a.s.a.p and report to the committee accordingly.

Please keep close track on the official website of Beijing Marathon ( about the latest updates of the event. We will also keep our entry site ( updated.

Hahahaha.  About three weeks before the scheduled race they tell you to hold off on making travel arrangements??  Who really flies to Beijing from abroad for a marathon and books their plane tickets on three weeks' notice or less?  Seriously, who? 

So I sent this email:
I just wanted to let you know so that you can report to the marathon committee that I have wanted to run the Beijing marathon ever since I watched the Olympics on TV in 2008.

Because this is a very expensive and major trip, requiring a lot of money and many vacation days, my husband and I saved and planned to run the marathon in 2012. We spent over $2,000 on plane tickets, another $400 on visas, and we reserved a hotel near the marathon starting line for over $700. Unfortunately, because the marathon has been cancelled, I will not be able to run it, but we cannot afford to lose all the money we have paid, so we will still be taking a vacation to China. It is very disappointing and I had much higher expectations for a big city marathon. It is also disappointing that I have spent all summer training for the marathon, and I will now not be able to run it -- I wonder if the committee that cancelled it knew how many people worked so hard, running 20 miles on a hot summer morning to be prepared to run in Beijing on Oct. 14. We will be arriving in Beijing on October 12. I will never plan to run Beijing again, this was a very bad and disappointing experience.

Please note, I know this is not your fault. I just wanted to share my experience and disappointment with you so that you could share it with others as you deem appropriate.
I feel that was a good way of summing up how I felt, and I hope I didn't come across as bitterly and hatefully as I feel most days when I think about it. 



  1. Awww bummer.

    I hope you enjoy Beijing anyway.

    Also, I was thinking about your bloodwork in the shower this morning. (What, I do my best thinking in there :))

    For your iron levels, maybe eat a little less spinach and/or raisins? Tahini, etc. I found this link for you.

    As for the cholesterol- I don't think I would limit oils. If I were to limit anything, I would probably limit wheat. Just a hunch.

    As fit and active and healthful as you are, I almost thought that maybe they gave you the wrong results!

    1. Very interesting thoughts, particularly re: spinach. I eat tons of spinach -- probably a few cups' worth per day; it's one of my favorite foods. I also eat raisins -- less often, not daily, but frequently. VERY interesting! And limiting wheat is also interesting. Thus far I've been more successful at adding beans rather than limiting oils, but limiting wheat may be something I try as well.

  2. I've been hoping things would work out for you to be able to run the marathon. It really stinks. I'm glad to see you wrote this. Sure it may not change things, but I think they should hear all of those words. I think the letter was respectful and honest, not the least bit bitter.

  3. Still no news for the Beijing marathon race! Makes it very difficult for people to plan a trip there. So disappointing.