Moscow, Russia

A ballerina fountain on Arbat Street, one of the few pedestrian-only streets in Moscow, cluttered with cafes, souvenir shops and industrious men and women selling everything from kittens to portraits along the 1.25-km way.

I was born too late to be a czarina.

Capitalism wins again.

Jim joined me for my finish and I was pretty excited after completing my first ever road race.

Jim crossing the finish line

The racecourse, centered on the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral and the Moscow River, offered dramatic views and fortunately few hills.

The participants of the 1999 Moscow Peace Marathon

Preparing to run the Moscow Peace Marathon

29 August 1999 – I awoke early, still undecided on whether I would run the Moscow Marathon 10k race. Jim encouraged me, but I couldn't decide. He had wanted to run the marathon, but with only one day notice, he cold not obtain a medical certificate required to run the full race, so he planned to run the 10k race instead. At breakfast, I made my mind to do the race, my first one, and give it my all.

And, I did it! At the finish line, I threw my hands up in glee, just as though I'd won a gold medal! There was never a moment when I thought about quitting, since I just knew I must complete the run. I was shocked at three points in the race to witness runners taking shortcuts, and at one point, even avoiding a stretch around a building, bypassing perhaps as much as half a kilometer of the race. Why run the race and cheat? Does the finish time mean that much? Even if the time is impressive, then don't they think about the fact that they cheated to get that time? Perhaps the one’s cheating had a different goal than mine: to run the race successfully and finish on solid footing, which I did with pride.


  Moscow Peace Marathon (Jim)