On Saturday, our little family participated in the 5th Annual Seorak International Treking Festival, along with our friend Brian (his blog entry here), his son Alex, and our friend Jenny. Unlike last year, when the entire international element consisted of us, two other A.P. teachers (another American and the Chinese teacher) and two Egyptian men who teach Arabic in Seoul, there were actually more than a handful of foreign participants. The bulk of these were a class of Russian students, who also participated in a dance festival later the same day, which another friend attended. (Unless, of course, there was more than one class of Russian students, mostly girls, in Sokcho that day.)
Traditional performance -- they dance whilst playing drums and whipping their heads around which moves the streamers attached to their hats. Talk about multi-tasking!
Brian started calling this gentleman "The Mayor," because, although we don't know who he is, he seemed to be fairly important. He wanted to have his picture taken (by the roving event photographer) with Liam. Obviously, Liam wasn't really on board with this idea.
Liam managed a calm grimace while everyone quickly snapped pictures.
Liam & Alex probably ate about three choco pies each -- not only the ones they received with the registration packets, but also the ones that kindly "aunties" gave them. I'm sure they used all that sugary energy on the walk.
Jenny said she was our "nanny" for the day, which consisted of holding Rowan, taking turns pushing the stroller, and chasing Liam around a little.
The crowd gathers...
After the traditional dance performance, the opening ceremonies consisted of the national anthem, several unidentified important people speaking, and group warm-up exercises, which I caught on video. (Unfortunately, we only had our older camera which doesn't have sound, so the K-pop music which accompanied the stretching exercises is sadly missing.) The Russian kids are all on the right. It looks like some of their teachers were shooting photos or video as well.
Since our group consisted of Liam and his 4-year-old friend, we did the 5K walk, which ended just inside the entrance to Mt. Seorak National Park. The 10K continued through the waterfall hike and the 20K was a course that is apparently only open twice a year.
Alex & Liam scored these super-cool visors with slide-down sunglasses and a solar-powered fan. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough sunlight amongst the trees to power the fan, which kept falling out.
Family photo at the turn-around point. We could have picked up a copy of the official photographer's shot back at the start/finish, but it was easier just to have him take one with our camera. So true to form, Rowan is attacking my hair and Liam is pacified by an ice cream cone.
Rowan enjoys relaxing in his new stroller with his toys.
Alex and Liam take a break from walking to explore the terrain. They walked a fair amount of the time, but also took breaks via shoulder and back rides.
Liam received this lovely "diploma" for his efforts.