A rundown of races across the peninsulaIn "Chariots of Fire," Ian Charleson, in the role of the running great Eric Liddell, says, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure." Liddell, whose nickname was the Flying Scotsman, went on to set a world record in the 400 meters at the Paris Olympics in 1924 with a time of 47.6 seconds.
Unfortunately, God didn't make all of us fast, but many of us enjoy the pleasure of running. And now, with the weather warming up, it's time to dig out your sneakers and restart your running, or walking, regimen.
Need inspiration? Think of last year's Boston Marathon champion, Lee Bong-ju.
If you want to run or watch an organized race, Korea has plenty of events that are open to amateurs. You'll have to plan ahead, though, because the application deadlines can close as early as a month before race dates. Late applications are sometimes accepted depending on availability. Entry fees vary. Here's a schedule of spring's races.
DAEGU HALF MARATHON
The race this year also celebrates the World Cup. Runners can choose a half marathon, 10K or 5K. The winner of the half marathon will leave 1 million won ($750) richer. Organizers are expecting more than 9,000 runners.
This year, organizers of the Jeju Marathon expect some 4,000 runners. The scenic course will start this year at the Jeju World Cup Stadium Square, then wind to Ilju Street, the Jungmun Tourist Complex, and Andeok Valley. Runners can choose three distances: marathon, half marathon and a 10-kilometer course.
For bystanders, there will be a hands-on kimchi-making event and a minifair stocked with World Cup souvenirs and products unique to Jeju.
This course features sections near the sea. Full marathon and half-marathon runners will have complimentary use of a nearby sauna to recover after the race. Two shorter races ?10K and 5K ?will also be staged.
Hosted by the weekly newspaper Women's News, this event drew 7,000 runners last year. Organizers are expecting about 10,000 this year. It's a chance for women from all walks of life to show what they're made of. Courses: 3K, 5K and 10K.
KYUNGHYANG SEOUL HALF MARATHON
The course starts at Jonghap Market and heads south towards Seongnam then loops back. There is also a 10K course. Organizers are expecting 15,000 runners.
by Joe Yong-hee