Running Songdo

Every time we move, I am anxiously concerned with where and when and how much I’ll be able to run in my immediate vicinity. In Quito we had Parque Metropolitano, complete with a five mile loop trail and various interconnected single-track on the top of one of the upper ridges of Quito. That was a beautiful park, chock full of eucalyptus trees and sufficiently high enough above the city that in many parts of the park, you could believe you were in wilderness. And while I could run all year, as Quito is the land of eternal springtime, being on the equator means that you only have until 6pm to be done with your run because you can bet your arse I won’t be caught out alone in the park after dark. Yikes. So that was a serious limitation.

In Turkey we lived right beside beautiful rolling, empty hills, where you could literally run trails all day long because there were fresh water springs throughout. This was a wonderful sanity-preserver with two serious downfalls. While in Turkey you are safe from people, on the Anatolian plains, you are not safe from wild dogs and our precious hills had a large, aggressive pack of them. Many a run was cut short by those damn dogs. We also had a serious mud season out there from about mid-November to mid-March. So a large part of the year, I couldn’t even run outside. That will bum one out real fast!

Behold, Songdo, where I can run all year (when it’s not TOO cold) and all night if I need to.  The city developers have taken great care to make walking (running!) paths of rubberized track surface, dirt, and pavement all over the city and around the city parks.  I can even link up to actual trails in Incheon on longer runs, but this is about running in Songdo proper.  The Pros:  it’s safe, clear, and right out my door.  Almost all the paths are lit at night so I don’t even need a head lamp on night runs!  There are no wild dog and no serious mud.  I can run all year, all hours of the day or night.  Cons:  No wilderness.  It’s city running.  It’s totally flat (which might be on your pro list) so I have to find some other way to incorporate hill training.  The parks have piped in classical music which is totally annoying.  So, you give a little, you gain a little.  In the space between I find my sanity.  Win!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Betsy
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 15:13:58

    Amazing note about classical music being piped into the parks. Details like this about what actually living in New Songdo is like are amazing and a bit hard to come by!


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