That Luang is a place of worship, prayer as well as a tourist attraction.
On the morning of March 6th 2016, it was where thousands of people filled with adrenaline gathered to participate in the first ever Vientiane International Half-Marathon (21km, 10.5km or 5km).
Hundreds of yellow t-shirts floated below the dark sky of a Vientiane morning, illuminating the kilometres ahead of them.
I had anxiously been waiting the race countdown for weeks- and so was everyone in Vientiane.
My 10.5km race was filled with excitement, concentration, self-doubt and perseverance. I just kept telling myself: Just go. Just keep running. Just keep moving your legs. It helps keep my focus.
I think I may have talked about my dad’s soccer coaching technique before on this blog, and I’m going to repeat it. He coached my competitive soccer team and kept hearing the words ‘I can’t‘ from the girls. So, he got these bright yellow t-shirts made with the words “YES I CAN’ written in huge block letters. We wore those shirts every practice- seeing those words on each others’ shirts made us believe.
Today, I didn’t need those words on my shirt because I knew I could. I had learned from my dad how to believe in myself and not let self-doubt take over my thoughts. (tearing up, love ya dad!)
I crossed that finish line- and my oh my did it feel AMAZING!
Up on that award stage went incredible athletes who finished in impressive times. I was taking photos of my friend who won 1st place in her age category when all of a sudden I heard “In 4th place is Marielle Hossack from Canada”.
I’M SORRY WHAT?!
I turn my head around so fast and look at my friends like ‘did you hear what I just heard?’. ‘GO GO GO!’ they tell me.
I go on stage and accept the award for 4th place in my age category! AHHHH!!!!!
Proud is an understatement for how I feel about everyone from World Vision Laos who participated in this event. This race has brought us staff closer together and I am grateful for it.
Half-marathon…I’m coming for you next!