As we begin a new year, we all tend to make promises to ourselves about getting in better shape this year than we finished last year. Here is a story from Essilor Sun Solution about a former couch potato running the 56km TransJeju Trail that includes a 2500 meter climb in elevation.
Megan Yeung, called “Megsy”, ran the TransJeju 50 Trail, a demanding race through Hallasan National Park in the heart of the Korean island of Jeju. This was her second time participating in a race on this trail, which includes a 56km course with a cumulative elevation gain of 2500m. A major challenge, especially as Megan aimed to achieve a better performance than last year. This year, she ran with her friend Karen to accompany her on one of her first trails.
The TransJeju takes place in the heart of a splendid setting. In fact, Jeju Island, located 85km from the Korean Bay, offers natural landscapes that are quite unique. The majestic Hallasan volcano, reaching an altitude of 1950m, towers over the island. The national park in which it is located, covering 151.3km2 of the island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This race is an opportunity for Megan to exceed her limits by setting ever more ambitious goals for herself. But above all, she wants to share her passion for trails and encourage the new participants to take on new challenges!
“For me, races are always a time to learn and to discover more about myself.”
Participating in this type of race requires rigorous training: Megan went through a very hard and thorough cross training, including strength and yoga.
However, Hong Kong has been hit by a lot of storms during summer, thus Megan had to find the motivation to train regularly indoors. In addition, her friend Karen suffered ankle injury during training, which prevented her from continuing regular training. Karen was also forced to abandon the TransJeju race before the end, to avoid aggravating her injury. Nevertheless, and thanks to Megan’s unfailing support, she still managed a great performance!
This trail was an opportunity for Megan and the other participants to contemplate Jeju’s beautiful natural landscapes. She remembers, in particular, the ascent of Mount Halla: “It was quite a bit of stairs until the top, but on the way, you can see the autumn leaves and slowly you find yourself above the clouds.”
The descent, on the other hand, was a particularly complicated part of the run.
“Not only it was a long descent, but it was a trail of volcanic rocks which one would easily trip over and roll their ankles if not careful.”
That’s why, in addition to training, good equipment is essential to deal with the tough conditions of the race.
After training tirelessly, the main thing for Megan was to have fun and enjoy herself during the race. She took on the challenge and finished the race in 10h41’38’’.