Here’s a picture of my normal 5K run. I’ve been a bit lazy with running this summer, but building back up.  This northern Budapest run along the Csillaghegyi Duna part is great. Though I do miss the run around Margit Island (5.5 K) which we used to do (with my friend Péter), especially in the evenings when you can see the city lights.

With this run, I start from our house and run .75 K to the river. Then we go north on a running/bicycle path along the riverside for another 1.75 K before turning around. Seth and Jacob (on their bikes) are my usual companions, and they keep my pace steady. I run a lot slower without them! Today we made one of our fastest 5K times: 21:44.16. We’re aiming to break the 20 minute barrier. Just need to keep my legs healthy.  Anyone interested in the Budapest half marathon next weekend?


We get to spend time with some really great students through the English Club and the Outdoor Club at Corvinus University. One of our friends, Norbi, invited us to visit his home in Slovakia for a few days. So this past week, we spent a couple days in and around Kassa (Kosice) Slovakia with Norbi’s family. We had such a great time. Their family lives in a small village 40 minutes outside of the big city (250,000), and the kids loved being in the countryside for a while, eating home-grown vegetables, picking grapes, and chasing chickens. Standing in the backyard are grape vines, apple trees, a giant walnut tree, a vegetable garden, a chicken house, and an outhouse which hasn’t been used for a long time. The outhouse, for me, was the coolest. Seth was a bit bummed that we couldn’t use it. Me too. It was a cool imprint from an earlier time, and I’m glad they haven’t torn it down. The kids loved the chickens, and I’m thinking that we are going to have to get a few pet chickens soon. Thanks Norbi for hosting us!!

more than gold

Tomorrow is the final day of the Olympics, and there are at least two things to keep your eye on.  At 15.40 on Sunday, Beijing time, Hungary will play the United States for the gold medal in waterpolo.  Hungary has won 8 gold medals in the sport since 1932.

The other thing to watch is the men’s marathon at 07.30 Beijing time (01:30 Budapest time / 19.30 Saturday Virginia time).  I’ve been waiting for this for the the last two weeks (though I’ll have to just catch the highlights on youtube).  Ryan Hall is the USA hope for gold.  Though Ryan has only competed in 3 official marathons, he holds the fastest olympic qualifying time for an American.  If I remember correctly, in London recently, he ran the marathon in 2:06:17.  Whoa.  That is not far off of the world record.  But there are three Kenyons who are running the same speed right now, so Ryan will be up against the fastest group in history.

But Ryan is running for more than a gold medal.  Ryan will be running in the memory of one of his best friends, Ryan Shay, who collapsed and died at the fifth mile of the olympic trials.  Ryan also talks a lot about letting go of all of the lofty goals of running a faster time or winning first place.  He talks a lot about the joy of simply running for God.  This is what he calls being “free to run.”  You can see his training video here.


My brother Daniel returned to America on Tuesday.  Life hasn’t been the same in the Newell household.  One of Daniel’s great accomplishments during the last five weeks was to create three little aspiring decathletes.  Everyday the boys were testing their physical limits in some way.  They seem to be jumping over everything that stands in their path.  The long jump is the current challenge of choice these days.  Daniel, the video is coming soon.