Shanghai Running Magazine Volume 3 - Page 10

Pyongyang Marathon 2014 by Will Marks When I first moved from London to China five years ago, I hoped that it would be the start of a time of adventures. But never did I imagine that I would be competing in North Korea’s first half-marathon, running through the streets of Pyongyang and entering the city’s stadium in front of 70,000 cheering supporters before being presented with a medal by the country’s Minister of Sport. The flight into Pyongyang was a sign of things to come, as I boarded a dated, Russian plane and we were warned by flight attendants not to take photographs. This was a recurring comment over the next few days. Four months earler I saw on Facebook that the race was being opened to international amateurs. The Passengers whipped out cameras before being sternly shouted down, this time by soldiers. On landing at Pyongyang airport, we saw a collection of planes so old they looked as though they belonged in a museum. ocratic People’s Republic of Korea!” she said. The term North Korea is never used in North Korea, a fact overlooked by our tour operator who had branded themselves “Experience North Korea”. Later during the trip all their printed posters and T-shirts were removed by authorities. Miss Park clarified more rules about taking pictures before moving on to the race briefing. It was to