Yesterday, I ran my last organized race of the season. Prior to coming to Korea, I rarely ran for recreation. While living in Colorado, I was an intense cyclist, putting in roughly 100 miles per week on my road bike (the commute to work 5 days a week was 80 miles alone).
When I moved to Guam in June, 2009, I replaced the bike riding (non-existent in Guam) with beach running, but never fully committed myself to any routine. However, after arriving in Korea, in February 2011, I began to get more serious about running. It helped too, that one of my co-workers was really into running and would prod/motivate me to not skip any days (although, lately, it’s almost as if I’m the one prodding her).
There’s a river near my apartment. About a 10-12 minute walk away. It’s nice to get home from school, get changed, and be out the door by 5pm for a late-afternoon run. There’s a 3km, 4.5km, and longer 7km route that I’ve figured out.
Oddly, I rarely see many Koreans jogging along the river. There are TONS of them walking and a few kind of half-stepping/speed-walking, but very few runners. So, you can imagine my surprise when my first marathon season rolled around in Korea and THOUSANDS of locals showed up to run.
It was later told to me, that the group mentality in Korea works well with marathon running–as opposed to solo running/training. It must be true because once marathon season starts, it seems like there’s a race every weekend.
So, last year I started to run in organized races. My first was the Busan Ocean Half Marathon Race in October 2011. I’ve done a total of 6 races, all 10km, since then and have enjoyed each one immensely.
One motivating factor has been my personal record times keep dropping with each race:
Oct, 2011: 53:14
March 2012: 52:59
April 2012: 50:51
May 2012: 49:09
October 2012: 48:39
November 2012: 47:12
Here’s a few pics from this past weekend in Dalseongbu (달성부):