Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Always a good running story.........

So I've gone out both mornings I've been in Korea to run. There is a "park" right next to the hotel called Namsan Park. It is like 3 million square meters in area.....it's a BIG park.

So, the running map from my hotel says that is is 4K to "tollgate 1" in the park and then another 2K to "tollgate 2" but that the road to tollgate 2 is "very strenuous". Lemme tell ya....the road to tollgate 1 ain't none too easy either! It is a beautiful park, but it makes Stone Mountain in Atlanta look easy. Here is a brief article quote about the park:
  • For more ambitious runners, Namsan Park in Seoul provides a welcome break from the bustle of the city, and is a favorite spot for locals to gather and to exercise. The road through the park is closed to traffic, and winds through forest for about four kilometers in one direction. Ground markings tell runners the distance they have covered; these are useful on such a challenging route. The park is known as Mt. Namsan (the peak is 265 meters high), so the course can get steep.

The first 4K is steep and rolling, but that second 2K leg is painful to say the least. It is ENTIRELY uphill.

Ok, enough complaining about the hills. :) The park is incredible. Lots of people practicing various Korean exercise routines, badmitten, meditation, walking, etc. I have't carried my camera with me yet on my run, but I will tomorrow. Since the park is the highest point in Seoul, the views are excellent.

I almost forgot; the funny running story; So I've been heading out around 6 AM to run. The roads are dead this early and so I haven't exactly waited for the pedestrian cross signal on the two road crossings I have to make until I enter the park. You know, just look and go! This morning I busted across a 4 lane road right in front of the hotel. I get to the other side of the road safely and then proceed to get a verbal tongue lashing from a guy on the other side of the road. I couldn't figure out what the heck he might be yelling at (he was speaking Korean), but he was half chasing me and yelling at the same time! I passed a fellow runner a few yards later who was kind enough to tell me that the guy was not happy that a foreigner had violated their laws. Guess they are serious about their cross signals here! :) Will try to be more careful the next few days. I suspect I might have gotten 30 days in the brig if it'd been a cop!


Keith said...

Jim...love hearing about the vacation (no, wait, the umm...business trip!). It is awesome to hear you having an adventure and enjoying. I'm already missing you as a fishing buddy this summer and am waiting to hear how you do there. Keep on writing-Keith

Dad said...

Sounds to me like you are getting your running exercise in....in spades! Just be careful at the crossings; it appears that cars are not the only potential obstacles! It sounds like you are enjoying the traveling....how is the work going?
Take care and be careful. Dad

Unknown said...

You are hilarious...maybe delirious too :) It may be wise not to anger the locals when you are that far away...you are kind of tall (and paleface) compared to the average Korean so pointing you out should be fairly routine. You are usually a great rule follower so i know once you figure it out where the line is you will be golden! Long and Strong, run it!

DelaneB said...

Ok, so did the term "tollgate" and and how brutal the terrain was bring back any bad memories from you last project "tollgate" meetings :) You've obviously left all that behind you physically but mentally I know how meetings that dramatic and traumatic stay with us :)I love you and CAN'T WAIT to see you your cute little face.

Dave said...

They might give you a caning next time. ...or make you eat Kimshee (sp?) by the bucket load before your next 19 miler!
Oh, and I can't wait to see your cute little face either.