Go to contents

“When I Wanted to Collapse, I Was Reminded of Someone Who Can’t Walk”

“When I Wanted to Collapse, I Was Reminded of Someone Who Can’t Walk”

Posted March. 30, 2007 07:45,   


"I was just happy to run the full marathon of 42.195km. Why? Because it was not only for myself, but for others.”

“When I am out of breath, thirsty and want to collapse on the spot, I hope that my effort can give hope to someone who finds it hard to breathe, is unable to walk, or cannot get a drop of water. And as for myself, this marathon will be a good opportunity to encourage myself.”

The 78th Dong-A Marathon Seoul International Marathon, held on March 18, had a special meaning for some runners.

The marathon is often called “a long fight with one’s self." But for this race, we can add “for others” to that phrase.

The subtitle of the race was “42.195 Means Love,” and marathoners participated in various charity activities during the marathon.

This newspaper and World Vision, an international relief and development organization, co-hosted the “Nanum” Marathon (‘Nanum means “donation.”) In the race, runners and businesses raised funds and left encouraging messages, displaying burning enthusiasm for the marathon’s relief efforts.

Not Only for Myself, But Also for Others-

Marathoners in the 78th Dong-A Marathon Seoul International Marathon participated in donation programs through the webpage of the Nanum Marathon. They could choose what they wanted to do to help from a list of World Vision activities displayed on the page. Others collected money and engaged in charity work. For example, thirty members of the Yangjae Marathon Club raised money from friends and ran the race with stickers bearing the World Vision logo on their shirts. Kang Bok-soong (34), an employer at an ad company, made the main page image of the Nanum Marathon webpage for free. Seoul Major Oh Se-hoon ran a six-kilometer course in the marathon in an effort to make the Nanum Marathon known to the public.

As one of its global promotion activities, World Vision invited three Kenyan children, who want to be marathoners. They are two girls and one boy. The girls are Rikinoy (13) and Joyce (12), and the boy is named Lazarous (12). They met Lee Bong-ju, the famous Korean marathoner and the winner of the 78th Dong-A Marathon Seoul International Marathon. Later, they ran the race with Major Oh in uniforms and shoes given by Mr. Lee; it was the first international marathon race for them.

Donations Not Only for Koreans But Also for Overseas-

World Vision has collected 60.93 million won through its webpage on March 27. The money will be used for giving one free meal a day to starving children, seniors who live alone and the disabled in ten facilities around the country.

The money also will be spent to finance education for children from low-income families, building study rooms and libraries for children, and supporting various cultural activities.

For Kenyans, the money will go to a project to install facilities for drinking water to ensure a supply of clean and safe drinking water. In Kenya, it is difficult for people to get safe drinking water. Therefore, they have to drink dirty water or walk 9km to get clean water.

This project supplies clean and safe drinking water to about 3,000 people and 250 students by installing reservoirs and windmills and connecting water pipes from a source of good water to communities and schools.