Gyesook Lee is Talking Trail Running

Trail running in South Korea is witnessing a boom, which will be clearly reflected in the 2016 Asia Trail Master series. Korea 50k, scheduled for 24 April, will be the first Korean race on our calendar and at least two more races will follow later in the year. High time to get to know some of the runners in the country, and we are happy to feature Gyesook Lee and Kim Yongkee in our Talking Trail Running series this week. 

The registrations for the 2nd edition of  Korea 50k, which takes place in Dongducheon City, close to the country's capital city Seoul, are open. You can read key details on our cover page, or go to the event website. The event makes for a great weekend getaway in spring with options for families! 


•   Q: Where are you from in Korea, and what do you do for a living?
GL: I am from Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-Do, Korea. Until last year, I worked at a securities company and currently I am a stage actress.
•    Q: When did you start running? And what has attracted you to do trail running? 
In 2010, I finished my first half marathon and on the same year I also finished the first full marathon. That’s how I started running. I had interests in trail running and desert races, because I wanted to try new unconventional running experiences.
•   Q:  Is running part of your family background? 
No, it is not.
•    Q: Do you have any idols? Whose poster was hanging in your room as a teenager?
I do not have any poster in my room, but I am a fan of the masters runner Jaeduk Sim. 
•    Q: What is your best time in a road marathon?
Doing a dead run in front of the finish line is the best part.
•    Q: What feeling does running give you?
Running gives me the feeling that I am energetically alive. Also I am so thankful that I can run.
•    Q: How many kilometers do you tend to run each week, and do you do anything special in your training when you have a trail race on your race calendar?
I usually run about 30km a week. When I have a trail race scheduled, then at least once a week I go for a training at a mountain site for 5 to 6 hours. 
•    Q: Do you follow a specific diet?
I do not have a specific diet.
•    Q: What was your best achievement in trail running so far, according to yourself? 
The biggest achievement I made in trail running is that my body became stronger and healthier. 
•    Q: What is the longest distance you have run in a race? 
•    Q: Will you attend Korea 50k next April and what do you think of the race course?
Yes I will. I already registered. The course that crosses 5 tops of the mountains in Dongducheon is difficult, however running beautiful forests with nice sceneries is very wonderful.
•    Q: Do you like mountainous races or would you like more runnable courses on the trail running calendar?
I prefer the course that contains both styles. 
•    Q: What race are you running in your dreams?
Desert Race, UTMB
•    Q: Trail running in Korea is very young, what is your favourite race in your country?
•    Q: What do you think of the establishment of  KTRA (Korean Trail Running Association) and the development of trail running in Korea? 
I think KTRA is an important foundation for runner-centered trail events. I assume, with KTRA’s contribution, Korean trail run races will be well prepared with a high degree of safety measures and professionalism that will lead to the best international standards. 
•    Q: What is your personal running ambition for 2016?
My goal is to finish all 4 races of the Trail Korea Championship.
•    Q: What do you think about the Asia Trail Master series? Could the 2016 championship be an objective for you?
I did not know Asia Trail Master series have various races from many countries that I would all love to participate in. But since I am a beginner of trail running, I am not aiming for the 2016 championship. I enjoy running. Results depend on my efforts and condition on the day, sometimes the mere enjoyment produces good results. I do not feel much pressure, since I put more meanings on own satisfaction rather than other people’s attention and expectation. 
•    Q: What tips would you give to other Korean female runners? 
Eating well and sleeping well are important. If you are training for a race, experiencing similar geographical features are helpful. When you run, you will find the answer.