Run day Monday: Hangang park

I’ve decided to add a new feature once a month. Long term readers will know I have a love of running, and I’ve discovered a number of great routes in and around Seoul as part of my running group, as well as while running on my own. The first one I want to share is my regular route, as it has inspired my love for this great city.

Sogang bridge to World Cup park 10km / 14km

Sogang bridge to World Cup park

Sogang bridge to World Cup park

(Map courtesy of mappedometer.com)

This route is an easy, flat run, ideal for any level of runner as you can do as much or as little as you choose. When I arrived in Korea, after a few weeks of not running regularly during my transcontinental shift, I started out doing the first 2.5km out to Hapjeong bridge and back. Today I ran this 14km route for the first time! Usually I run either 5 or 10km, depending on how knackered I am and how much time I have.

Along the route every kilometre or so there are nicely maintained public toilets in little portacabins so you don’t have to pull a Paula Radcliffe en route. There are also great water fountains to stop and drink or fill up your water bottle, and if you really feel the need for refreshment you’ll come across a convenience store every so often, too. Particularly, as you get close to Seongsan bridge and into World Cup park itself, where there are 7-11s, GS25s, and even small concessions of your favourite coffee shops.

Yanghwa bridgeHandy loos at Yanghwa bridge

For this exact route, get down onto Hangang park under Sogang bridge and start running to your right. After almost 5km you’ll run under the huge, red spans of Seongsan bridge, curve a little to your right and cross a bridge over a small stream to enter World Cup park. Bear to your left over the bridge to continue along the Han, or for a different route you can follow the stream to your right and run up past World Cup stadium.

The turning point for 14km lies 2km further on. You’ll pass the hill of Haneul park (Sky Park) rising to your right, and shortly after that a small bike park next to the path. On your left there will be a handy Ministop convenience store, some toilets, and a water fountain. Refresh yourself and turn around there.

In the winter, dress warm and don’t forget your gloves! The wind that blows down the river between November and February is slight, but unforgiving. In spring and autumn just enjoy some great temperatures and a lot of fellow runners. In the summer, run early or late, and don’t forget your sunscreen. Some of the route has reasonable shelter, much of it is exposed to the sun and roasting hot.

Floral borders

Floral borders and a spot for repose

Happy running, folks.

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