Turn Back the Clock
Thursday - Kim
Il Sung Stadium

Kim Il Sung Stadium since the 1950's and Pyongyang Marathon in the 1980's!

Ring your bell / Change your number / Run like hell / You can't hide from thunder - The Band

As we start the final sprint to the starting line of the 2017 edition of the Mangyongdae Prize Pyongyang Marathon, we delve into the Koryo Tours archives to look back at where the marathon has developed from and the history of it's spiritual home - Kim Il Sung Stadium. Get your Indiana Jones' hats on, it's time to turn back the clock.

Koryo Tours' 'Turn Back the Clock Thursdays' presents some old photos of Kim Il Sung Stadium, the start and end point for this year's race, and the Pyongyang Marathon in the 1980's.

The future location of Kim Il Sung Stadium in 1946

During the colonial era (1905-1945), the current site of Kim Il Sung Stadium was an athletic field.

October 14, 1945

On October 14, 1945 citizens of Pyongyang city gathered at the athletic field to listen to a speech from future President Kim Il Sung about the liberation of the country from Japanese colonial rule.

Post-War Construction of Kim Il Sung Stadium

The athletic field, along with the majority of Pyongyang, was destroyed during the Korean War (1950-3). After the armistice ending the war, construction begin on Kim Il Sung Stadium.

The opening ceremony of Kim Il Sung Stadium in 1954

An opening ceremony was held in 1954 and the stadium underwent a number of expansions and renovations over the following decades.

Kim Il Sung Stadium in 1979

Kim Il Sung Stadium served as Pyongyang's prime athletics facility between the 1950's-1980's, hosting track and field sporting events, basketball matches, and the DPRK's massive gymnastics displays - the Mass Games.

The Starting Line

The start line for the 'Mangyondae Prize Marathon' in the 1980's. Some runners can be seen wearing bibs for their home provinces, including Kangwon and South Hwanghae.

Running the Streets of Pyongyang

Marathon runners on the streets of Pyongyang....

The Finish Line

And the dramatic finish!

The Mangyongdae Prize Marathon award ceremony today

The Pyongyang Marathon award ceremony in 2015. In 2016 Kim Il Sung Stadium underwent further renovations and major sports events, including the Pyongyang Marathon, were held in the May Day Stadium. This year the Pyongyang Marathon is back to Kim Il Sung Stadium with a new and exciting race route through the city.

Check out our marathon tours for more details of how to join. The tour and race registration deadline is February 1.

'Turn Back the Clock Thursday' brings you 'then and now' views of Korea from more than two decades of Koryo Tours' trips to the DPRK and images in the public domain.

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