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I love that Jeju loves having us here! « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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I love that Jeju loves having us here!

the feeling is mutual!

the feeling is mutual!

Well Jeju loves having us here, and I’m loving being here.

You see signs all over the island proclaiming their love for us!

they say it in Japanese and Chinese too

they say it in Japanese and Chinese too

It started with Ariel from the Jeju tourism office greeting me at the airport with flowers…for the second time actually!  The first time was in July when I raced the ironman here.

I look like @ss from the travel but isnt Ariel cute?

I look like @ss from the travel but isn't Ariel cute?

We have welcome banners by the Blue Hill House and one in the swimming pool.

ok we can forgive them for putting Lance on our banner.

ok we can forgive them for putting Lance on our banner.

The pool is a really sweet 50-meter pool.  And by sweet I mean really painful.

big sports complex housing our pool

big sports complex housing our pool

The roads have the best surfaces for riding on, not much traffic, and there’s always gorgeous scenery to keep your spirits high.

its a pretty bike-friendly island

it's a pretty bike-friendly island

gorgeous roads with gorgeous scenery

gorgeous roads with gorgeous scenery

lovely sights to see

lovely sights to see

Some of my favorite sessions are at the Marathon Center track.  I couldn’t believe they have both a big stadium with a main track, and another warm-up track right outside of it!  This was why I got confused on my first day–I knew there were two tracks, but didn’t see my teammates go inside the stadium.  I saw the warm-up track and thought “oh no…they are not here…they must be at the other track.  Wherever that is!”

the South Korean flag flies next to the Jeju Self-Governing Province flag

the South Korean national flag flies next to the Jeju Self-Governing Province flag

We had a film crew follow us around for a mini documentary.  Because we are V.I.P. triathlon superstars here!

1-2-3, yell Team TBB!

1-2-3, yell "Team TBB!"

They took us on a little shopping trip to the traditional market, where we got all kinds of special deals on fresh veggies.

hamming it up with the veggie ladies

hamming it up with the veggie ladies

The filming capped off with a team BBQ…Korean hospitality is pretty sweet!  And by sweet I mean delicious :)

not quite camera-ready

not quite camera-ready

with Seulgi, the director/producers interpreter, and Ariel

with Seulgi, the director/producer's interpreter, and Ariel

Needless to say I am enjoying being back on Jeju Island where I left with some very good memories back in July.  Every time I run by Jungmun beach, the water is beautiful but almost annoyingly flat.  No vomit-inducing waves like during race morning, so I’m sure my teammates think I am just a crap swimmer making stuff up.  Then again until I go under an hour I am just a crap swimmer, so no difference.

A lot of the roads we ride on are part of the ironman course, so that always makes me smile when I see the mile markers.  And we go by the World Cup stadium on the way to track workouts–where the finish line of my first triathlon win was!

Sometimes when people stare and whisper at me, surely they are saying “hey isn’t that the girl that won the ironman here??”  Well either that or “that girl has really cool hair.  and she’s super tall.”  OK maybe I am getting a big head, but at the track a week ago I was actually greeted as “Hello, Jeju ironman champion!”  Turns out it was local pro triathlete Cho, who had been also raced in July and won it the previous year.

Then we went to a team dinner last weekend at a restaurant and the owner exclaimed to me “oh welcome back!  Long time no see!”  He remembered me from the race too!

I also found out I have a picture in one of the national sports magazines here–it’s the Korean Sports Promotion Foundation’s monthly publication and there’s a nice write-up on the Jeju ironman, the “toughest day in sports” as they call it.

not just a tri magazine but a national sports publication!

not just a tri magazine but a national sports publication!

there I am!

there I am!

To add to my fame and superstardom here, we raced at the Beautiful Jeju International Marathon today.  I got put in the marathon of course…and actually won it!  With a new huge PR of 3:15!  I’ll save the details for my next blog but a bunch of local athletes also recognized me from the ironman race and they wanted photos with me AND autographs.  Of course being such a ham I thoroughly enjoyed it!  :D

In fact I am loving Jeju so much, I decided to stay here for another 3 weeks.  The GreatMan ironman race that was originally cancelled has now been postponed to October 25th.  I am training very well here and really love it here, so why not cap off a great training camp in Jeju with another great result at GreatMan?  That’s the plan and as I am in the best shape of my life, I can’t wait to smash my PR from Ironman China–that 11:08 is going down!  I am even starting to get a real six-pack and am not leaving Korea without one.  :D

THANK YOU JEJU FOR HAVING US HERE!  :)

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