At the end of Sunday’s half marathon in Paris, three familiar faces from The Philadelphia Orchestra cross the finish line, running arm in arm, on what wasn’t a day of rest from the Orchestra's 2015 Europe tour. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports from the sidelines.
David Patrick Stearns: Nobody arrives at something as physically challenging as a half marathon without taking a rather personal journey to get there. You might say that Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim was at the 8 am starting line in Paris on Sunday as a reaction to a life spent in music.
David Kim: I’m addicted to exercise. I’m addicted to the endorphins. Maybe it’s from a childhood spent indoors playing the violin.
DPS: For Carol Jantsch, one of the few female tuba players in a major symphony orchestra, athletics is in support of her life in music.
Carol Jantsch: I consider it to be part of my career to stay in shape. To be able to do my job and do it well I need to be in good shape. It’s the size ratio. I‘m not a huge person. I don’t have a huge lung capacity so I have to be that much more energetic with my use of air.
DPS: Entry requirements for the St. Germain en Laye half marathon were stringent, requiring a letter from their respective physicians – plus registration on an extremely temperamental website. Cellist Glenn Fischbach was the first to discover that it fell on one of the Orchestra’s few days off on its current Europe 2015 tour. He calls it tourism at 6 miles an hour.
Glenn Fischbach: A lot of these cities you're here for just an afternoon. The best way to see them is to go out and run and see three or four miles of paths and rivers you wouldn’t normally see.
DPS: The reward at the end was the famous St. Germain en Laye chateau, dating back to the middle ages, one of the grandest in all of France overlooking a panoramic view of Paris some ten miles west. The price of the view was a series of serious hills. Though fueled by bananas and sugar cubes, two of the three members of the trio suggested walking up one of the steeper inclines. But Kim wanted to maintain their rhythm. And as Fischbach put it, he IS the concertmaster.