Thursday, September 6, 2012

And here's the winner of our photo contest

She runs marathons and speaks Mandarin. She graduated from Skidmore College magna cum laude with honors. She practices Krav Maga.

Meet the winner of our photo contest: Megan Rhodes.

Here is the picture that drew the most votes:

A picture might be worth a thousand words but it rarely tells the whole story. The photo captures Megan, an MIPP candidate at SAIS Bologna this year, running a half marathon on, yes, the Great Wall of China. She finished top of her age group and was the first American across the line.

"The race was mostly run in a surrounding village, replete with adorable children giving you high fives and giddily chirping 'Hello!' in English," she said. "There was a small goat path, and we formed a single line to use a rope to get off the wall."

Megan ran the Beijing marathon in 2010 and has also run the 42.2-km race in San Diego and New Hampshire. To train for the Beijing run, because of heavy air pollution Megan trained mostly on a treadmill, including a 3-1/2 hour run on the machine. Ouch.

Never one to shun a challenge, here is Megan bungee jumping at the Long Qing gorges outside Beijing, where she lived for 5 years before coming to Bologna last month:

What is Megan's mystery prize? A free lunch with Amina and me in a Bologna restaurant. (Please don't say second prize is two free lunches with us.)

The contest involved photographs by incoming students that were included in this slideshow.

Here are the runners-up, all students at SAIS Bologna this year:

by David Gorgani
by Leslie Yun
by Marwa Abdou

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