Jun 26, 2008
Chronicle of a Suicide Monday
One of my favorite views in Saipan. I paused on the bike ride down the cliff to take this panaramic photo of the rest of Saipan stretching away to the south.
Sucide Cliff, from the base.
So, I've made a commitement to running from the Last Command Post at the base of Suicide Cliff, to the top of the cliff every Monday morning. This past Monday, June 23, which I chronicled in the pictures and video below, was my fourth run up the cliff. The first was on Memorial Day with the 4Runners, the second was that memorable Last Day with the 4Runners, and the last two have been on my own. The first run, Riki got some pictures and video, but this entry will give you the runners-eye perspective.
It's a really rewarding run and I feel like it is really whipping me into shape. I guess it is a pretty demanding run--it's uphill virtually the whole way--but the way I run, it's not unbearable. I always feel a great sense of accomplishment once I get to the top and I feel like the challenge has made me a stronger runner. Right now my goal is to gradually reduce the time it takes me to get to the top. I can track the time of course--right now it takes me 37 minutes, but I also use my ipod as a type of timing device. I always listen to the same set of songs, my "Mountain Run" playlist, and right now I'm finishing right at the end of "Lifetime" by Mat Kearney and right before "Beautiful Day" by U2. It would be great to finish before Mat Kearney's song starts by the end of the summer.
I'm looking forward to the rest of my Suicide Runs every Monday this summer!
The Run Begins
If you look carefully, you can see that Monday was a "Moon Day"-the moon was still high in the sky at 6:25 A.M.
The promontory in the foreground was the exact spot I was running to. I don't think you can see the railing in the photo though you could just make it out with the naked eye.
I start with a walk to warm up, and begin running when I hit this mile marker. It is not 11 miles to the top. I'm not sure where we are 11 miles from. At this point the run is still level--no inclines yet.
One of the first inclines. Not too steep.
Running towards the light.
Triumphant at the top!
A very short video of the bike ride down. I usually bike down since it's faster than running and I have to get back home on the south end of the island, shower and have breakfast and get in to teach my summer school class. But after next week, when my class is done, I think I will run back down.