After 5 years, Dad runs a "Half-Marathon" again, but in Belarus!

This makes for his being some kind of an
"International Racer"!

(For captions, move cursor over pictures!)

Мечты сбываютчся!
(Dreams can come true!)

      Sunday, July 1, 2012, I ran a half-marathon in Minsk, Belarus! About 3/4 or so through the race I had to stop and fix a "migrating" insole in my left shoe as the pain in my left arch had me essentially hobbling on my right foot. The epidermal skin was "flayed" off as can be seen in the last pictures.  I reset the wadded-up insole and finished the race OK except for pain. Deana didn't think that I could run the distance, but I did! :)

The weather was absolutely gorgeous.

There was the 21.1 Km or 13.1 mile "Half-Marathon" race as well as a 5K and also two relay races. Because July 3 is "Independence Day" in Belarus (and is celebrated for 3 days, July 1-3), there was lots of participation not actually in the races...particularly from the non-government bank, "Data Bank" which was represented by "runners" in red with red balloons. Deana took pictures of the releasing of the balloons, and the winners of the 5 K race while I was running the 21.1Km. There was other entertainment besides of which Deana took some pictures.

Deana also got pictures of the first five finishers of the 21.1K race (the 5th overall was Vasily, with whom you will see me speaking and pointing at my foot), and then me as I ran in. The very national "Minister of Sports", in person, had to use his electronic microphone to tell some people to get out of the way as I came running in. So you will have to look closely to see me.

Vasily, whom I met on June 23rd at the 5K "tune-up" race in Minsk, greeted me when I finished. He then arranged for me and Deana, with him too, to have pictures taken with the young Belarusian woman, Darya Domrachyeva, who is the 2012 Women's World Champion in the Biathlon (cross-country ski and rifle shooting, as in the Olympics).

This is Darya in Slovakia this winter at the World Championship Biathlon competition;
and, the inset is of her with me on July 1 in Minsk:
Biathlon, Neal w Darya Domracheva. World Champion, 2012, July 1 in Minsk.JPG

This is a scene from a Biathlon target range:

On TV that evening we saw me in the race near the beginning. Just imagine, back in Belarus with Deana and Robert for two weeks, and on "National" TV two times, June 23, and July 1!

Life is not over at 75! :)

Here is a map of the race course, and an inset of the place where the finish and awards presentation were (Click map to go to more grey-scale enlargements for being able to see more detail and read the words):

Here, in color, is the place of the finish and where awards were made: