So, it’s Saturday noon, been in the deepest darkest countryside of Korea for two days, with the race due to kick off tomorrow. The excitement is building as more athletes move into the area, and slowly all the various registration and events that need to be dealt with are getting done.

Food has been an issue, a visit to the local market highlighted the different culture. The Korean diet is based around kimchi, the spicy vegetable pickles swimming in garlic and chilli.

The photo above shows the massive collection of different kimchi they have.. and it’s served in just about every dish, either as a side or used as flavouring.. or mostly both! Not something you want to be going through your system before or during an Ironman.

Although there is a huge number of eating establishments for such a tiny town, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any ” familiar food” restaurants other than a rather dodgy looking burger joint., which I avoided.

I tried out a local corner eatery  on the first night and made the mistake of ordering something that didn’t look spicy … needless to say it was hot hot hot, and being too Britishly polite to leave when I discovered was chilli laden, I was made to suffer again when it made a fiery reappearance the next day. Since then i have stuck to baked goods from the convenience store or plain chicken soup with rice added. Not really the nutrition our bodies need before a race.

Chicken soup with rice.. and kimchi

The convention goes that an Ironman has four disciplines, rather than the traditional three of a shorter triathlon – swim, bike, run and nutrition, and what you eat the days before a race can have a similar effect towhat you eat during the the event, in so much it can make or break your race.
We will see tomorrow how much the lack of familiar food over the last few days will effect my performance … well, at least it can be a valid excuse if , or rather when, things go pear shaped !