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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Korean culture and track races

Stone PagodaThis morning our hosts took us for a tour of Jeonju and the nearby area, in order to sample some local culture. First we visited a Buddhist temple just outside the city - it was absolutely amazing. be sure to check out the pictures.

Next we had lunch in a Korean restaurant - they seem to be very fond of "do-it-yourself" type meals. We had raw beef, vegetables, noodles and seasoning served to us on a metal plate, and then cooked on a gas stove installed right in the middle of the table. The food is very odd (acorn jelly - need I say more?), but also very tasty.

After lunch, we toured the "Korean cultural experience" and saw traditional housing, made Hanji (hand made paper), learned about Korean medicine and visited the last emperors grandsons residence.

Finally, we head out to the skating track. Located outdoors, in a large sports center, and alongside a hockey rink - we found a beautiful 200m banked track. After a short skate, we found that it was a bit bumpy, but nevertheless had great grip.

Roi decided not to risk injury on the banked track and decided not to race today. I, on the other hand, raced for 500m, 1,000m and 3,000m Elimination.

I had a bad start, and couldn't catch up. I spent the entire race (all 2.5 laps of it...) trying to get back in the pack rather unsuccessfully. I burned out during the last lap and finished last and far behind.

This time I had a good start, stayed 3rd or fourth for a few laps, and managed to take the lead for the 4th lap. While I led for nearly the whole lap, I didn't notice the attack brewing behind me, just before we started the 5th and final lap, the whole pack just whooshed by me. By the time I got my act together and accelerated, I was left fighting for 5th place.

3,000m Elimination
By far my best race. I got into the center of the pack right from the start, and kept my position for a long time. at some point I started fading back - but managed to sprint up to 8th place or so. Unfortunately I was unable to cement that achievement, and was quickly pushed back to the rear of the pack. After about 7 laps, the back of the pack began to thin out, and elimination became a real threat. I lasted for three or four more laps, until finally losing an elimination lap sprint to a skater that was behind me.
All in all I had good races. Roi caught everything on Video, and I even recorded my point of view with a helmet camera. I'll be sure to post the videos soon. It was really great to get some more pack experience - I'm sure it will help me in my upcoming races.

It's very late, and the half marathon tomorrow is early in the morning, so the rest of the pictures and videos will have to wait... be sure to check back tough!


  1. We can see that you have improved a lot!! Keep it up!!
    Good Luck!
    N and M

  2. Mic Dover & Kim Su KyungSeptember 10, 2007 at 6:10 AM

    Glad you had a good time in Korea. No doubt you guys will sleep for
    a few days after you get back. Lot of stuff went down in the space of
    a few day. We both had a great time and hope to see you again in
    Jeonju next year.