Running In Korea

One of the first events I ever did was a half marathon while I was stationed in Korea. When the base made these events available they were always free and included transportation. I remember trying to get some of my coworkers to run the race with me to no avail. I looked at the event and information like starting times and locations. I decided that rather than taking the bus that the base offered I was going to drive myself. That way I could arrive later and leave sooner rather than meeting up earlier and staying later as part of the larger group.

I got to the race and had some trouble finding a parking spot. The traffic was pretty bad but all part of being in Korea.

This would be the longest race I have ever run up to this point. I had no experience racing and didn't really know what to expect.

As the race started I knew I was going too fast but kept going. The late start time of the race resulted in running in hotter temperatures and this quickly began to suck the life out of me. I remember being thirsty and not having an aid station for a long time. This race was not going well after only 5 kilometers. Then my stomach started acting up. Having 2 bowls of frosted mini wheats the night before was not a good idea. I had to find a restroom. Where was I going to find a restroom out in the middle of nowhere in Korea among the rice patties? I was seriously considering going in a ditch when there was a gas station ahead with.. well, it was slightly better than a ditch, but it was not a western toilet.

Back on the road and in the heat I was feeling slightly better but I wasn't going as fast as I had hoped. Korea isn't consistently flat so there were some hills that were long and hot. Towards the finish there were even more hills that were shorter and steeper. I had to revert to a run for a few minutes, then walk for a few minutes, then run again kind of strategy. My finishing time was about 2hrs 18mins. I was happy with the accomplishment and lessons learned.

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