Korea 50K - Race Report by Paul Ridley
Posted on May 20 2016
For those considering the Korea 50K next year, check out the race report from everyone's favourite pink-shorted ginger runner, Paul Ridley, who won our competition for a free entry. Thanks Paul!
The Korea 50 (or 59km in real money) was one of the most easy going races I've had the pleasure of participating in. Starting inside the sports stadium outside the centre of Dongducheon just before daybreak was a nice idea, and ensured plenty of time for all to complete the undulating, and at times challenging, course.
On what was a stunningly clear and cool sunny day, the route took racers through many different types of trail. Soft, leafy woodland trails switched to precarious rocky hilltop ranges followed by long dry, rooty descents. There was a 7km stretch of elevated service road which took participants round the sprawling Camp Casey US Army Base which provided an interesting distraction after 45km.
The feeling at both the beginning and end of the race was relaxed and friendly. Runners there to enjoy their running. Organisers sent out race materials in plenty of time and race pack pickup was smooth and simple. Volunteers were motivating and route markings clear and plentiful making for few opportunities to lose ones' way along the mostly clearly defined trails.
Accommodation was a little tricky to come by so be sure to book early if you fancy this race. I stayed in a small tourist hotel where little English was spoken, like most others in town, but all was clean and tidy enough. This is a race to put on your calendar if you can spare the weekend. I flew Friday night and was back in time for a short sleep before work Monday morning.