And…………….. when I say marathons, I actually mean running 5Ks.
I loathe running. That is the plain and simple truth. I find it boring and unfulfilling. I am much more of a team/competitive sports kind of person. This is likely the result of playing soccer for almost a decade with one year of rugby thrown in just for fun.
But while living in Korea I decided to give running another chance, and I have to say I think I have gone from “loathe” to “dislike”, a significant improvement.
|Pohang Marathon, Korea, 2013 – the lovely orange shirts were provided|
Several of us girls decided that we would “train” for a 5k, and run it together in June (2013). I think we all had issues keeping to our training schedules, but we all finished, surprisingly faster than expected. We arrived the night before, stayed in a nice Love Motel, and were up bright early wearing our “gorgeous” orange race shirts.
I finished in 26 minutes and some seconds, faster than I expected. I sprinted to the finish line and started walking over to the side because I felt like I might need to throw up, when a guy grabbed my arm and hung something around my neck.
After the sick feeling passed, I checked what he had given me, and it turns out I won $20 for finishing in 7th place (7th female that is). Not bad if I do say so myself.
Information for the Pohang Marathon (alert: it’s all in Korean)
Gyeongju Marathon, also known as the Cherry Marathon 2014
|The ladies: Pre-race group shot. We thoroughly enjoyed the group (meaning all runners) warm up and stretching session.|
I signed up for the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon (5K), quite excited to run blissfully through the fluttering blossoms. In my mind, I run gracefully without any trouble breathing because I planned ahead and started training diligently two months before the race.
Well………….. needless to say, my training started about two weeks before the race. To be truthful, I was the huffing and puffing foreigner with the red face. However, the blossoms were still beautiful regardless of my (lack of) fitness ability.
|It’s Korea, so I got a medal for finishing. My time was worse than my Pohang time, but I still finished in under 30 minutes.|
|“You can do it! Fighting!!”|
|Whether going for a race, or just for fun, Gyeongju is a beautiful city to simply take a stroll in. Especially in Springtime!|
The Race of Death: The Spartan Race 2014
|A must: pre-race posing with the Korean – Roman soldiers.|
When signing up for the Spartan race I was expecting a 5K race with 10+ obstacles scattered throughout.
We arrived at the ski resort, just outside of Seoul, and looked in disbelief at the course.
|First leg of the race: run UP the freaking ski hill!!|
Needless to say I almost died during this race as we were literally running a 5K up and down ski slopes PLUS doing obstacles such as climbing over walls, climbing up ropes, jumping over fire, and carrying bags of sand up and down hills. (to name only a few).
After an exhausting 2+ hours of running, jumping, climbing, ducking, dodging, lifting, sweating, cursing, complaining, dying, crying, crawling, rolling, scooting, carrying, throwing, did I mention crying, almost puking, and various other traumatizing verbs that shall not be mentioned………………..we finally made it to the end.
|We almost died, but we did it!!|
p.s. did I mention that if you couldn’t do an obstacle, or failed and obstacle you were required to do 30 burpees. Kill me now.
I am happy to say that I did complete the race, and only had to do 90 burpees in total. I am glad I signed up, won’t ever do it again, but to have completed the course once feels great.
A helpful list of races in Korea for those with a bent for running long distances for no apparent reason.