Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Pyongyang Marathon 2019 in North Korea
What is the Pyongyang Marathon?
The Pyongyang Marathon is officially known as the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon (만경대상국제마라손경기대회 | 萬景台獎國際馬拉松 ) and is held in April each year in the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ('DPRK' or 'North Korea').
FEB 21 UPDATE: The 2020 Pyongyang Marathon has been cancelled due to concerns related to the Coronavirus and related North Korean border closure.
The modern event is one of the largest sporting events in North Korea each year and has been held yearly since the early 1980's for professionals. Foreigner amateur runners first entered the race in 2014.
In recent years, participants have included both local and foreign professionals and amateurs of all ages from across the world as well as runners with disabilities.
Pyongyang has a long history of marathons, dating back to at least 1921, and marathons have had an important place in the history of Korean sports - the first gold medal won by a Korean athlete at the Olympics was won at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Today's Pyongyang Marathon is certified as a International Associations of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Bronze Label Road Race and by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
Runners can enter full marathon (42 km), half marathon (21 km), 10 km, and 5 km events.The Pyongyang Marathon is one of the most unique marathons out there and gives you the rare chance to run (or walk) the streets of the North Korean capital.
How can I run the Pyongyang Marathon?
All foreign amateur runners are required to enter the marathon as part of an organised tour group. British-owned Koryo Tours is the official travel partner of the Pyongyang Marathon and completes registration for amateur foreign participants.
You can find a list of Koryo Tours' group trips for 2020 Pyongyang Marathon here. Ranging from two to ten nights, these tours are designed to let you see North Korea while participating in marathon event. Alternatively Koryo Tours can arrange a custom private independent tour for a group of friends, co-workers, family, or as an individual wishing to take part in the Pyongyang Marathon.
Marathon race fees are paid on-the-spot in Pyongyang directly to the event organisers in cash. Please prepare clean and undamaged bills to pay the race fee. The fees per race are as follows:
Full Marathon | 150 USD
Half Marathon | 100 USD
5 km & 10 km | 70 USD
Race participants traveling with Koryo Tours receive a race timing chip, running bib, and a specially-designed finisher's medal.
A portion of proceeds from participation with Koryo Tours supports ongoing humanitarian work and cultural engagement in North Korea.
What is the time limit for the Pyongyang Marathon?
The time limit for each race is as follows:
Full Marathon | 4.5 hours (or 4 hours to finish with a final lap inside Kim Il Sung stadium)
Half Marathon | 2.5 hours
5 km & 10 km | 2 hours
I am a professional runner, how do I enter the Pyongyang Marathon?
'In case some of you are wondering who is the best...'
For more general information, links, and media about the event, see Koryo Tours' Pyongyang Marathon Information Portal.
Updated 29 May 2019.
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