21 December 2014 | Seoul Trail | Trail Running | 15km – 3:04 Hours
Since I met her life has never been boring and since we started endurance sports the ride has gotten even better. She keeps me going and keeps me pushing forward. I couldn’t imagine life without her. Like I said she is competitive… However every now and then her competitive nature can cause her to bite off more than she can chew. Case in point, last weekends Trail running excursion on Course 1. Part of the course ran through Mount Suraksan. Mount Suraksan is 637 meters above sea level and offers spectacular views of northern Seoul and the surrounding countryside. It also provides a moderate hiking challenge… Fortunately for us we were running so our challenge was just a bit above moderate. We didn’t run all the way up the mountain but we did traverse a good part of it based on the route for the trail.
Jacky and I were accompanied in our trail adventure by Chan Ho or Tony as he likes to be called. Tony is a member of the Seoul Police Department and also a fellow member of our Running Club, the Seoul Flyers. Tony is an avid endurance athlete. He has done multiple Ironman and double Ironman distance events in Korea. It was great having him along on our journey.
We started off at Dobongsan Station and our finish point would be Hwarangdae Station, roughly 15 kilometers away the problem would be all the elevation and twisting, narrow paths in between… And that’s where the fun would start. We were traveling at a fairly moderate pace and while it was cold (-9c) and the trail was snowy, the sun was out and the sky was clear. It was definitely a great day for a trail run. Then after about 15 minutes into our run we encountered our first obstacle. A small stream had been iced over and we had to make our way across which we did without incident. However from there on out we were making our way up the hills and through narrow paths that barely saw the sun. There were patches of ice and if you weren’t focused you would definitely pay for it. After about an hour in I was feeling my stride. There were some nice level paths where you could keep a fairly good pace.
Based on my TomTom we had some stretches on the trail where we around a 7 minute km pace even with the snow and ice. Tony was consistent and kept a fairly even pace. He also would do a walk on the up hills and run on the flats and down hills. I stuck with him fairly closely. Jacky meanwhile was not her normal Energizer Bunny self. While she loves to run and she likes trail running it is still a bit of a challenge for her. Jacky’s motivation this off-season was her stamp book and the certificate that she would get for completing the Seoul Trail course.
There were a few places where she took her time or wanted a break or complained about the pace or needing a breather. I always chuckle inside when she does this because when we normally run a race she’s out pacing me at the halfway point and sure enough as we got closer to the end she picked it up. When she got to the last stamp station she was all smiles.
Even after all the hills, snow, cold and ice I could honestly say it was worth it to see her face light-up when she got her stamps! All in all it was a great run. We were able to get 4 stamps for our booklets and now only have 8 remaining out of 27. Our plan is to be able to get our certificates by the 2nd of January. We’ve already planned out the remaining routes. Tony will be with us and maybe we can get one or two more friends to join in the fun.