Korean Culture and Running
Korean drama and culture is popular in Far East Asia. My country people (Taiwan) around the world (Taiwan, USA, etc) love to watch their drama and celebrities. Korean has the highest plastic surgery rate in the world, so the same become popular in Taiwan, Japan, and other countries around there. My family love Korean food as well as Japanese food. We like their variety of dishes, so called appetizer, before the meal.
On the other hand, Korean is also very competitive in long distance running in the world. I clearly remember two things. In 2002, the Korean runner Bong-Ju Lee won the Boston Marathon among the world best runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, etc. Last year, Sim Jae Duk won Massanutten Mountain Tails 100 Miles on the second day of arrival from Korea. This year he is one of the hottest runners in the Western States 100M. Have we had ever non-US runners winning Western States 100M?
I don't understand Korean language, but there is an email on the Ultrarunning List about Trans Korean. The race looks like interesting and highly recommended. I went to the web site Korean UltraMarathon Federation. I found there are three distances.
- West to East Sea 308K. Check the very touching video http://www.kumf.org/Video/1.asf.
- South to North End 537K
- South to North End 643K
Here is the invitation letter for the West to East Sea 308K.
West to East Sea 308K
A Letter of Invitation
Dear fellow ultrarunners,
We are happy to introduce you to a really spectacular long distance ultramarathon race in Korea that has been a highly kept secret outside of Korea.
This is "Trans Korea 308 km Ultra Marathon race ", which has been held yearly since the year 2000. This trail / road race is a crossing of the Korean Peninsula, starting from the West Sea (Yellow Sea) to the East Sea (Pacific Ocean), with a cut-off time of 64 hours.
The whole race is organized by KUMF, the Korea UltraMarathon Federation, which has proved its outstanding ability of race organization to the world through the recent IAU 100 KM World Cup '06, Misari, Seoul, Korea.
Runners will be aided for drinks or some very basic food items every 50km and any further sort of personal needs must be met by the runners themselves.
Last year, the number of runners who ran the race were, (please don't be surprised) 203, and finishers 151. This year you could be one of the intrepid challenging runners of over 400, in view of the current long distance running boom here in Korea.
Should anyone want to challenge the absolute solitude of the Far East, enjoying the awesome wind-chimes far away from the temples in the misty moon light, why not come and join us the challenge of Trans Korea 308 km Ultramarathon 2007 in Korean peninsular, the land of morning calm!!? We bet it's going to be the most spectacular, unforgettable experience that you will cherish the whole rest of your life.
When : Sept 13 - 16, 2007
Where : Seoul, Korea
Organization : Korea Ultra Marathon Federation
Contact : www.kumf.org Trans Korea 308km
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Reg. fee : US$300.- per person ( Local transportation inclusive from hotel to the start then from the finish, back to the hotel )
Remarks : A Free Home Stay program will be offered for those who want to know more about Korean culture and tradition.
Race Director President
Organizing Committee of Lee, Youngsik
Trans Korea 308 km Ultramarathon '07
Korea Ultra Marathon Federation
When Am I going to do it?
I love Korean cuisine and am interested in their culture, so I'll choose FREE home stay. I think my family will love this trip as well. In particular, it is only two hour flight from Taiwan. We can plan this on our annual visit Taiwan afterwards.
However, it will be a few years from now since I'm focusing on the races in US and it will take me some time to be capable of doing such a long distance. I'll keep in this my mind. I think I want to finish similar things in Taiwan first since Taiwan is smaller (but may not be easier). Here are my estimates,
- West to East or vice versa 150K to 200K on three major road (north, mid, and south)
- North to South or vice versa 400K
- Around Taiwan 1000K since Taiwan is an island