Preview: Korea 50k underscores growing scene in Korea

The next points-scoring race in the 2016 Asia Trail Master series takes place in a new destination, namely South Korea. Not far from capital city, Seoul, Sunday's Korea 50k event in Dongducheon (DDC) proves the growth of trail running in yet another country with hundreds of runners registered for the race. The event will be a significant spectacle with plenty of media and international charity partner Operation Smile present as well. There is a high number of international runners, so it will certainly be an interesting race. 

Race organiser Jesse Yoo has been in trail running before most people even knew it existed. The first edition of Korea 50k last year was a success, and it encouraged him and his team to take things to the next level and increase international engagement. Other than a race for the national championship, Korea 50k is also the first ever Korean race in the Asia Trail Master series. It won't be the only one, with UT Mount Jiri and a third race in the pipeline for later in autumn this year.

The event is easily accessible from Seoul by subway, and there's plenty of hotel choices available in DDC as well. The race course is tough with 3100m of elevation gain to be conquered, but the length is reasonable with 59 km in total. A compact challenge in other words. 

All finishers on the 59km race will score 100 finisher points for the Asia Trail Master championship, and added to that are of course each runner's performance points on the basis of his ranking in the result list. 

Important in this event is the support any runner can  give to the cause of charity partner Operation Smile. The US-headquartered cause is omnipresent in Asia as well, and treats less privileged children to life-changing surgeries for cleft lip and palate conditions. Each participant in Korea 50k can help to make a big difference in life quality for these young children, and we as promoters of the event and managers of the Asia Trail Master series encourage everyone to take this into consideration when collecting your race number bib on Saturday.  Please see more information about how you can assist below and by going to the OS Korean website

 This weekend we will be reporting live from the scene, starting on Saturday afternoon with the press conference, and then of course before, during and after the race via our social media channels. 

Xu Xiatou starts as one the race favourites in Korea after his strong showing in UTHK 100. 

Xu Xiatou starts as one the race favourites in Korea after his strong showing in UTHK 100.