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!