Seoul and Bethlehem Marathons

The Races – South Korea

The 2016 Seoul Marathon is on March 20th and it’s a relief to finish the registration process. Key steps in the registration process were only in Korean and you needed to download and install a browser addon to complete payment. No, it’s not compatible with Mac OS and it’s best to avoid MasterCard. My screen went blank after submitting my payment and I never received a confirmation email. Great. I emailed the race organizers and they confirmed I’m in! Registration was only $42, making this my cheapest marathon to date.

West Bank – Palestinian Authority

The 2016 Palestine Marathon takes place on April 1st. Registering for this marathon is easily done through a Danish nonprofit. The race is in Bethlehem (West Bank) and I’ll be staying there for two nights before heading back across the border to the Israeli side of Jerusalem. This race was much easier to register for and the total cost was just shy of $90.

The Flights

For my first segment I’m flying DC-NYC-Tokyo-Seoul with American Airlines and Japan Airlines. I’m currently booked into business class and I hope to upgrade to first in the week before the flight.

I’m leaving Seoul and heading to the Malaysia/Thailand border for a few days at the beach before catching a flight to Bangkok to connect with my Qatar Airways First class Bangkok-Doha-Amman-Tel Aviv. The big three middle eastern airlines have boycotted Israel so I’m forced to connect in Jordan to complete the itinerary. Qatar flies three A380s from Bangkok to Doha each day!

Qatar Airways on-board bar, photo from

Coming home I’m reversing out with a Tel Aviv-Amman-Abu Dhabi-Washington DC routing. These flights will be serviced by Etihad. Unfortunately, they don’t fly an A380 to Dulles, but I will be in first class and we have our own private chef for the 14 hour flight 😉

Final Thoughts

This trip will be fun. My favorite First Class product to date (JAL), St Patrick’s Day in Seoul, marathon in Seoul, three days in paradise (Krabi), First class on an A380, visiting my friend David in Tel Aviv, Easter in Jerusalem, marathon in the West Bank and Etihad First on the way home #blessed

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