30 Oct

North Korean Marathon Opens Doors

North Korean MarathonWhile the London, Boston and New York Marathons all have a reputation for being notoriously difficult to enter, it might just be trumped by Pyongyang Marathon in North Korea. The event has announced that it will allow overseas runners the opportunity to register for the 2015 race: only the second time organisers have done so since it was established in 1981.

Around 500 foreign runners will be permitted to compete at the event which include a marathon, half and 10k fun run. Beginning inside the 50,000-seat Kim Il-sung Stadium, competitors will get the opportunity to run beneath the 197-foot high Arch of Triumph, the second largest arch in the world, before crossing the Taedong River and re-crossing the river to complete one 10k lap. 

A British tour company, Koryo Tours, is offering a number of packages for the race, which is scheduled for 12 April. Koyro Tours’ Nicholas Bonner, who took part in the 10k last year, commented: "It's an amazing event and a great opportunity to compete in a marathon in what is still a fairly remote part of the world for most people, but also to see some of North Korea."

For those looking to enter the event via Koyro Tours, the company is offering a package that includes visiting the statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il on Mansudae hill, the Juche Tower and the vast Kim Il-sung Square, famous for hosting military march-pasts.