(The road full of gingko trees in Misari)
(Runners warming up)
The Misari Motorboat Racing Park in Hanam City in Gyeonggi Province, which is just a few minutes from the province's boundary with Seoul, was the venue for the 1988 Seoul Olympics rowing events.
(Running with a view)
(Kids on a field trip in Misari)
But unfortunately, I am no Olympian and I had no time to lazily stroll around this huge venue. I had to run like the rest of the pack! And run I did!
(The last thousand meters)
In my hours spent in my neighborhood gym in Hannam-dong, I would just brisk-walk on the treadmill watching CSI shows on the treadmill TV. My regular goal was to solve the crime, not to lose weight. Ha-ha-ha! But that day, in Hanam City, there wouldn't be any TV series to entertain me, but the whole autumn foliage and fresh air of the Korean countryside.
I hadn't subjected my legs to running non-stop for an hour, but this surprise test of endurance gladly didn't cause any injury, although I saw one runner being carried off on a stretcher. He was lucky; an ambulance and a medical team were on standby.
(The view of the autumn blue sky from my spot)
And in an hour, the nine-kilometer torture was over: a few photos, a few slowdowns and one water stop. On hard road, on dirt and on foot!
After the run, everyone had to replenish our spent energy through packed lunches among the the autumn foliage. Joining my colleagues, I just sat under a tree, thankful that I was able to finally bend my legs and rest my butt on the ground, and not anymore chasing my breath around the park.
And while everyone was away entertaining themselves with performances after the race, I just laid down on the cold grass under the blue autumn skies and enjoyed the free afternoon before a scheduled dinner.
After that, I roamed around the park once more, strolling this time, and ventured into the elevated mound to enjoy the view of the mountains beyond the fields of Misa-dong, bringing with me my camera, a hopia and a Mary Grace ensaimada for snacks. Ha-ha-ha! I didn't have time to smell the roses earlier, so to speak. Now, I finally did.
And when the afternoon ended, we all rode off to the Friday afternoon sunset and to Songpa-gu's commercial district for dinner, where I had the best galbi ever! I realized all the calories I lost while running in the morning were all back at dinner time! Ha-ha-ha!
The galbi they deserved was soft and tender, and its flavor has a very subtle hint of sweetness and saltiness, not one overwhelming the other. An order was pricey, but it was worth the enjoyment! No wonder they're in the Zagat list.This was so much better than the galbi served at that over-rated galbi restaurant in Itaewon. And the service was very good, too! The Korean ajummas serving were very accommodating and helpful.
Oh, well. I didn't win any Olympic medal that day, but at least my efforts were rewarded by the scenic view of the Korean countryside in the fall and by a fabulous galbi treat!