Monday, July 13, 2009


The death race up Namsan didn't quite pan out. The course was a very tough but not superhuman 3-kilometre road on the side of the mountain. Three-and-a-half made up a half marathon. I woke up at 7:30 for an 8:50 start, meaning that I ate no breakfast and spent about $12 getting to the race (two taxis, one Mugunghwa train). Still, I missed the start by 20 minutes. It had been raining heavily all morning, and continued until the afternoon.

I jogged the first 12k and ran the last 9 hard, and I didn't think this was too difficult, though I don't have the endurance these days to go much faster. I didn't time it, but it took about 1:50. The winning time for the half was only 1:26, so I would say the course is about 8-10 minutes slow. I can't say enough about the rain that fell, which was so loud that I couldn't hear anything else.

A chapter in my Korean textbook teaches you to ask if you have ever been to Namsan. If you have never been to Namsan, you've missed out. The views are spectacular, though spectacularly misty yesterday, and the lush greenery could fool you into thinking you weren't even in Seoul. I also strongly recommend the place I went for lunch, an Uzbek restaurant at exit 5 of Dongdaemun Stadium (look for the Uzbek flag). If they can make lamb taste edible, they probably do wonderful things with other meats as well.

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