Run day Monday : World Cup Stadium and Haneul park

World Cup Stadium, Hangang park, Sky park 10km

World Cup Stadium to Haneul park

World Cup Stadium to Haneul park

Map courtesy of Mappedometer.com. Route 443554

This was the first route I did when I joined the running group here in Seoul and it has been a favourite ever since. It offers numerous routes and levels of difficulty for every type of runner and, as I’ve been here a number of times now, I’ve tried several. It’s also quite a complicated route with a number of twists and turns, but if you get it right there’s a great view at the top and a lot of lovely scenery on the way.

For convenience, there’s a huge Homeplus supermarket under the stadium where you can leave your stuff in a locker for a refundable ₩100. Beware; the Homeplus is closed the second and fourth Sunday of each month!

From the entrance by the lockers cross the car park, take the steps down to the Bulgwang stream and start running to the right. Within a few hundred metres two main roads converge overhead and the path reaches a t-junction. Run right again and follow the Hongjae stream another few hundred metres to where it meets the Han river and the running track veers right into the Hangang World Cup park. This is about 1.5km from the starting point.

If you follow the sweeping curve of the path forward and to the left, you’ll notice a large, circular area of concrete to the right of the path. At the end of this there’s a pedestrian footpath curving up and away over the busy Gangbyeonbuk-ro. Cross on this footbridge and follow the dirt track into Pyeonghwa park and follow the trail around the edge of the park to the left and then right to the back of the park. Near the end, you’ll see a small blue bridge to the left at the foot of a zig-zagging stairway to the Sky park. Hardy souls may sprint up the stairs. Only the very hardiest will succeed.

For the rest of us mortals, go left from the bridge and follow the bike path south again around the base of the hill and around to the right. The road will branch to the right and up at a gentle angle. It’s an 800 metre climb to the top. In the summer, families on the cute road train will wave you on as they pass by.

Once at the top you’ll be greeted by music playing softly from the speakers around the park, art installations both large and small, wind turbines, and viewing platforms offering up vistas of the city and the river and its many bridges. The park is particularly beautiful in the spring during the blossom season.

Body art 1

Body art 1

Body in the ground

Body in the ground

To complete 10km, do two laps of the park, or a lap and then a swing through the various criss-crossing paths, before reversing back the way you came. You should hit 10km shortly before your original starting point, giving you a hundred metres or so to cool down if you want to.

***

Alternative options
1. Run left along the Bulgwang stream from Homeplus and you’ll have a straight, flat route which lasts for several kilometres for a plain out n’ back jaunt.

2. Take a left over the bridge where the Hongjae stream meets the Han and you can run as far as you like and back along the Han river path. Again, it’s all flat, well-maintained path and it extends the length of the river; some 200 kilometres.

3. For a flat and easy 10km, stay in the Hangang park instead of taking the footbridge over the highway and run out to the sign which signals the border between Seoul and Gyeonggi-do, just past the archery range, then return.

Do you have a favourite scenic run? When’s the best season to enjoy it?

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