Athletics

North Korea opens doors for the Pyongyang Marathon

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For the first time in the Pyongyang Marathon's history, runners from across the world can now take part in the annual race in North Korea.

On the same day that tens of thousands of competitors will take to the streets of London to take part in the UK marathon, North Korea has invited 200 foreigners to compete in Pyongyang.

The annual race has been going for 27 years and has always been for North Korean nationals only with the exception being held on April 13.

Simon Cockerell is a Beijing-based agent for the Koryo Tours travel agency and speaking to The Independent said: "I think a lot of the attraction is the 'Pyongyang' part rather than the 'marathon' part.

"A lot of the people going along to take part are interested in simply doing something a bit unusual, something that would cause a bit of cognitive dissonance in friends of theirs when they tell them they ran a marathon in North Korea." 

Runners who have taken on marathons in New York, London or Berlin may be accustomed to travelling past Madison Square Gardens, Buckingham Palace or the Brandenburg gate but perhaps not so familiar with jogging across a bridge over the Taedong River.

The Pyongyang marathon is set to loop around the capital and will start and end in the 70,000 seater Kim Il Sung stadium.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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