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Part 1 of Race Day Lingo….

Bandit: An unregistered runner who participates in a race

Bonk: When a runner “Hits a wall,” or literally runs out of energy & slooooows down

Chicked: When a female runner passes a male.

Click: another word for “kilometer,” of military origin.

Chub Rub: When thighs rubbing together result in painful chafing

Dirty Dozen: A dozen of 400 Meter running intervals

Double Clutch: A breathing technique where a runner inhales twice for every exhaled breath

Dreadmill: The so-not environmentally stimulating alternative to outdoor running– the treadmill.

East-Sider: Runner’s staple coffee: 16 oz, black, and no room!

Fartlek: When a runner “goes off on a fartlek” and varies the pace significantly (Swedish word meaning “speedplay”).

Flintstones: Race finishers who are grouped in twos and threes, hence the expression “Flintstoned the Shoot!”

Flopper: Runner (usually non-winner) who very dramatically finishes the race with a collapse

Jack Rabbit: Runner who kicks off the race super fast (but may be unable to finish)

Sandbagger: A runner who attempts to fool others by pretending to be exhausted or to hold back, only to pass everyone later!

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Running all day, all night, it’s been an exhausting few weeks for Wel3an. Haven’t you seen him? He’s been everywhere. And he absolutely won’t stop running until he knows that everyone has registered!!!

Today I ran into Wel3an in Karakol el Druze. I called out to him, but he was in such a hurry, he didn’t even flinch! However what happened after, was really something to remember…

Recently, Abou Abed has been hanging around Karakol el Druze way to often. I don’t know if he’s looking for trouble, but when he’s not lounging on the sidewalk he’s doing a kazdoora around the round-point. Wel3an on the other hand, has been running the round-point so fast he makes lightning speed look amateur.

Of course, Abou Abed doesn’t like competition very much. So this morning, he thought he’d show Wel3an a good time.

Just as Wel3an came running around the right curve, Abou Abed, crouching low in his seat, used his greatest strength and swung his best argileh hose (ordered special from Egypt) out of the sunroof in an attempt to lasso Wel3an.

Now, Abou Abed has been using this technique for years, there’s no doubt in the neighborhood about it. It has been tried and it has been measured, and since the beginning of time it’s been deemed the most effective way for Abou Abed to get his point across.

Folks, on this epic morning, Wel3an broke that record.  Abou Abed forgot that Wel3an is not only fast, he carries the torch of Lebanon so he’s always on fire. Let’s just say, Abou Abed’s special hose was turned to ash, and as for Wel3an, well, he’s still running.

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9 years ago,  on a wide street next to the Mediterranean sea, a woman walked. You could tell from the way she was moving that she has had an accident as she was struggling with each step next to dozens of other walkers on that street.” I was once an eligible Marathon runner” she thought to herself, ” how can it be that I can barely walk now?”. she remembered how excited she was about completing her very first 42.195KM, her room is still filled with clippings from running magazine, and on her fridge hanged a full training program with shorts runs, interval runs and long runs on Sundays.

Drifted by her memories, a crucial pain in her legs brought her back to reality, a cruel reality on wheels that jumped on the sidewalk and came crashing into her when she was running with her colleagues on a Sunny day.

She looked around her, people were still walking, she was walking too, yet all she wanted to do is run! run on her beloved wide street that is narrowed down by the dozens of people who walk next to each other, talk to each other and whisper to each other… A Wide street narrowed down by dreams and hopes and promises..

She squeezed in her dream too, red and green, the color of her Lebanon, So fired up and filled with excitement, so ambitious and hopeful that one day all of those walkers would turn to marathon runners.. a change of Culture, she thought, a change of lifestyle, young and old, men, women, children.. A Sports for everybody, anybody..Common grounds where the wealthy and the poor, the junior and senior, the graduate and freshman can run next to each other..
“This wide street will soon be narrowed with feet hurrying to reach the finish line, training to get to the start line” She thought.
On that night, a red and green, passionate ” Wel3an” came to life..
9 years now, more than 5,000 people train to reach the finish line..
More than 10,000 people run for causes and charities
More than 8,000 people run with their colleagues, friends, families and loved ones
And every year, more and more people discover their true potentials, what they are capable of doing, how far they can go

” WEL3AN” was born on a wide street, overseeing the Mediterranean Sea, His mother’s moto ” DREAM” and his Father’s motto is ” LIVE”, his middle name is ” RUN!!”

This is not where ” WEL3AN’S” Story ends.. As a matter of only just STARTED!!!!

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It was a sunny April day when I met a very enthusiastic woman, Eliane Medlej, at outdoor Lebanon 2011. Beirut Marathon was holding a series of fun track races there, and she was amongst the participants.

As I was helping her put her bib number on the shirt, she was talking how much her son is into sports, that he’s a basketball player and loves a good challenge.

“Challenge you said?” I asked her, she replied ” Definitely”..she added ” Try Him”

Without blinking twice, I took his number and gave him a call. ” Chris?..Hello..Is this Chris?”

He wouldn’t answer for a second, then he answered..” Oh comon.. I know your game man.. quit it”

“There is no game, you don’t really know who’s on the phone with you,” without leaving him a chance to talk I added ” my name is Safa and I’m calling on the behalf of the Beirut Marathon Association”…” and I have a proposal for you.. it’s more of a challenge actually”

His voice tone changed from sarcasm to a mix of curiosity and excitement ” Well..what is it?” he asked

” You’re 17 years old” He interrupted me..” Duhh.. I know that”, I laughed, continued” and you will be running your very first 42.195KM this November 27th”

He only confirmed” Yes..I’m running the Marathon”

” Well..see you at our offices then..” and we both  hung up

A week later, Chris shows up with his proud mother to our BMA office in Hazmieh, he met with Mariam Haidar, our training program coordinator, and she listened to his training techniques. She found out that he was running with his basketball shoes, yet managed to run a 10K in 49 minutes!

She gave him a full schedule to follow, and a diet he can stick by!

A very excited Chris started telling us how he has been coordinating basketball, studies and training runs, alongside outings with friends and social life..At 17, he got it all figured out, BALANCE is the key to a happy healthy life..and it all just falls in place after that, he even works in the summer and volunteers in his spare time.

Now Chris broke his own record, last training he finished his 10K in under 45 minutes..and he has been taking on running with all his heart and mind

It’s a mind game after all..

His biggest inspiration: His parents and LANCE ARMSTRONG

Well Chris..See you NOVEMBER 27th!!