The first race I did on Jeju was the 2013 edition of the Jeju Trail Run, one year ago; that was one of the toughest races I’ve done for a long time. This year’s race had the same venue, the same course, set on the eastern flank of Mt Halla and over two oreums. The weather was suitably grey and stormy, giving the views over the moor-like landscape a bleakness reminiscent of some parts of upland UK. The swish of the blades of the wind turbines in the strong winds added to the atmosphere.
Paths through the woods with roots and rocks are a challenge and other runners seem to deal with them better than I do. The same is true of the steep climb of the oreums and the equally steep descent on the other side. It’s just as well I can recover lost ground on the relatively flat and smooth sections of the trail. Anyway, I was four minutes quicker than last year and quite happy with that.