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Cross-Country Meet is Training Ground

Posted February. 01, 2007 06:58,   


“Oh god, this is going to kill us!”

On January 31, at the cross-country course of the Dong-a Marathon Center in Seogwipo City, Jeju, marathoners were panting hoarsely all around. Athletes taking part in the First Korea Business Athletic Cross-Country Tournament were gasping as they were worn out running the course’s steep uphill and downhill paths.

The center’s 8K course is the most difficult one in the nation as it starts from the main stadium of Kang Chang-hak Stadium, circles the cross-country course (3.6km) of the DMC twice, and finishes at the secondary stadium of the Kang Chang-hak sports complex.

“It is an important training program that maximizes the heart rate of runners through cross-country techniques. The DMC course is optimum for this purpose, since ups and downs are adequately combined,” said Kim Jae-ryong, coach of Korea Electric Power Corporation team.

Cross-country is a kind of interval training conducted in the mountains. If one runs a cross-country course as an exercise, the heart rate usually stays at around 80 percent of the person’s maximum rate (approximately 180-200 beat per minute) on ascents, and 60-70 percent on descents. However, when athletes are in a tournament with competing runners alongside, their heart rate reaches maximum on uphill paths and 80-90 percent on downhill paths. It is no less intense.

Hwang Jun-seok (Seoul City), who won the men’s race with a record of 27:39, said, “It was so tough. The hills were too steep and I thought my heart was going to explode. There were many curves as well, and it added to the difficulties.” Choi Kyung-hee (Gyeonggi Province), who won the women’s race with a time of 31:34, also commented, “I’ve never had such a tough race before. The course is way trickier than the one at the Jeju-do Arboretum.” Yoon Seon-sook (Gangwon Province), who took the third place in the women’s race (32:52), said, “Although the run was exhausting, I think it was helpful to improve one’s marathon skills.”

In the group race, in which the records of the best three runners of a group are added up, KEPCO took the men’s title with a record of 1:24:29. The women’s title was taken by the team from Gyeonggi Province, which finished with a time of 1:38:26.