Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Run the Silk Road

I participated in my first running event in years. I wasn't up for the full marathon, but did run the 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles). It was very fun and makes me want to run more distance events...maybe even a marathon. My time was so slow compared to when I was at my peak which is depressing, but it felt very good and I just need to accept the fact that I am getting older (ugghhh!). My time was only 2 minutes over my goal, so I am pretty happy about that.

The event was the 3rd international event sponsored by the Japanese Embassy out at Lake Issy-Kul. Beautiful course that had nice gently ups and downs.  A few people from the Embassy went, but we all ran different distances. I even got Otto to run the 5K and as much as he complained about it, in the end he said he had fun and would consider doing one in the future. I have a couple of photos...Otto refused to let me take his picture. I also didn't carry my camera with me during the run, so no photos of the course that ran along the lake...

Start/Finish of the race. The only thing I didn't like about the course is that it was an out and back instead of a loop.
After the race outside of a cafe. Natalya, one of the doctors I work with is on the left.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Final weekend of Dave's visit

We had such a great holiday with Dave.  We had hoped to do a road trip to the south to Osh, but still too much snow in the passes. Instead we did a day trip to Burana Tower and Kochkor.  Then on Sunday we went rock climbing. Spring here is so beautiful with the green foot hills and the dramatic snow-capped mountains in the distance. Here are the photos!

This is one of the only remaining ancient sites in Kyrgyzstan.  Burana tower dates to the 9th century. It is possible to climb to the top via a very narrow staircase (below). It used to be taller, but a earthquake in the 15th century destroyed the top half.
The staircase to the top. Very steep and dark.
Detailed brick work on the outside. Similar to what we saw in Uzbekistan.  The story goes that in the 19th century, the locals disassembled parts of the tower to use the bricks for buildings in town.  Those areas have since been renovated.
Sculpted grave stones in a field near the tower.
The field of grave stones
The single bolted climbing area in Kyrgyzstan, there are supposedly other single bolted routes in the mountains, but this area has probably 20 or so bolted routes. Most are easy, so it is a great place to climb for those of us no longer doing 5.10c's and beyond!! It isn't possible to top rope, everything has to be led.
Gearing up at the car.
Post climbing beer and snacks at a very nice outdoor restaurant near the climbing area.