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A fine day for a brisk autumn run
Runners compete in the 7th annual Jeju Tangerine International Marathon Festival
Thursday, November 26, 2009, 15:02:58 Lisa Caraway editor@jejuweekly.com
A plethora of orange clad runners are just beginning the race through some of the most scenic areas of Jeju Island. Photo courtesy Hallailbo

Although most people would never dream of running a 44 kilometer marathon, it seems the majority of Jeju islanders, being of the sportive persuasion, frequently take on massive runs in order to maintain health, happiness, and gain motivation to achieve their personal goals. The marathon of Jeju just recently passed, and now, yet again, with the onset of winter bogging most people down at home, a ray of golden sunlight has perked up and snatched a group of runners from around the globe to compete for prizes at the Jeju Tangerine International Marathon Festival. Every participant, in honor of the Island’s sweet staple fruit, received a 5 kilogram bag of delicious tangerines, merely for attempting the race.

There are three distances of racing; a 5 kilometer race, a 22 kilometer, half marathon race, and a 44 kilometer, full marathon race. Each race will be further sanctioned into groups categorized by age and gender. Every participant will be given an electronic tracking device to ensure fair competition throughout the span of the marathon and guide judges in their final assessment of results.

Many countless hours have been spent training for the November 22nd race and as the date approached, the mornings and evenings have offered glimpses of individuals in preparation.

The rush of race day should have held good bearing on the public services around Jeju and given the community, as well as visiting tourists, a day of fun and good cheer through the offering of victuals and festivities, such as orange, tangerine coffee, and Jeju black pork sampling; a tangerine piling contest, singing contests and face-painting.

The day began bright and early with the contestants, weary from the barely risen sun, primed for competition. Before the run the opening ceremony felled a rousing cheer all around of “Hwaiting!” a Hangul expression for “Good Luck” combined with the English word “Fighting.” A group of dancers charged the crowd with calisthenics after the singing of the Korean national anthem and by 9:32 the race began.

Everyone was full of cheer as the runners broke from the starting line and ran to the coastal road. The course began with a run along the sinuous coast, past Shinjeju, Yongdam Leports Park, Iho beach, Hallim, and even Sinmuri, to be repeated as a circuit run back to the beginning. The route was gorgeous and it wound around the blue beaches and rolling hills and forests. Every few kilometers a booth of water, banana, Pocari sweat, cookies, and eager cheering crowds beckoned the racers on, applying leg medication to the runners when necessary, offering sponges for sweat collecting, and best of all, offering smiles that spread from ear to ear.

There were many turning points along the way, each containing a tangerine marker to designate the race halfway points for the 5km, 10km, half-marathon, and full-marathon respectively. Elite racers sped to the finish in record times and a wonderful time was had by all. It was truly a day of magic and cheer, with active, passionate Jeju citizens and foreigners alike, enjoying the splendor of their wonderful island on a fine autumn’s day.

For more information on this race and other upcoming events visit or call: 064-750-2521, http://marathon.hallailbo.co.kr/
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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