If peering behind the veil into one of the most intriguing and secretive places on the planet has been on your list of things to do, this is a perfect opportunity to peel back that curtain, take a look inside, and then run a marathon in one of the most famous cities in the world. On April 12th of this year, it’s your chance to run Pyongyang. Be it in the 10k, half marathon, or the full 26.2 miles, this is an amazing opportunity to visit a completely mysterious place in an utterly unique way.
On top of all that, Ningbo Guide has an excellent promotion code for you. Use our code “NINGBOPY” and save $50 USD on your tour registration. When you fill out your information with URI Tours you will see a promotional code slot, enter “NINGBOPY” there. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.
Traveling to North Korea is only allowed within a tour group, and Uri Tours has some great packages available for the marathon weekend and for an extended stay. Registration is required by March 20th and given the popularity of the marathon last year, spots will fill up fast. We’ll cover the packages in more detail below or you can view their full explanation and itinerary here or find out more at www.uritours.com
Uri Tours has been leading tours to the DPRK for over 10 years and they are also the official ticketing agent for Air Koryo in the Americas. They are the largest provider of North Korea tours and travel in the U.S. The Pyongyang Marathon has always been a professionals only race, but in the last two years, it’s opened up to foreign amateur runners. This is the second year Uri Tours has offered a Pyongyang Marathon package and now it’s available direct from Shanghai or Beijing.
Ningbo Guide will be heading for the short and sweet package leaving from Shanghai for 3 nights / 4 days. The tour hits some iconic landmarks along the DPRK landscape and leaving from Shanghai will be a breeze. All of the details for the Pyongyang Marathon Short Tour – Shanghai Departure can be found here. We’ll be putting together transport from Ningbo to Shanghai and arranging some fun events for anyone interested in going. Feel free to contact us anytime with any questions.
Spots for the tour are filling up fast and you’ll need to book before March 20th. Again, use our Ningbo Guide promotional code “NINGBOPY” to recieve a $50 USD discount.
Uri tours has other options as well. There are Short and Long tours available, 3 nights / 4 days and 6 nights / 7 days respectively. Both tours are almost completely comprehensive, save registering for the marathon and a few minor incidentals, the packages are well structured and fun. The short tour will include running in the marathon, half marathon or 10 k, a comprehensive tour of Pyonyang and a road trip down to the DMZ a the border of North and South Korea.
Visit Uri Tours online for a complete and comprehensive itinerary for each package and a list of all the things that are and are not included in the trip. Likewise, if the thought of running around Pyongyang doesn’t make your heart pump with excitement, Uri Tours offers weekend packages, standard 5 day tour visits, private tours, and a range of other excellent trip options.
If you’ve ever wanted to see North Korea, Uri Tours are the people who will take you there.
The Pyongyang Marathon
Now in its second year open to amateur foreign runners, the Pyongyang Marathon is set for April 12th 2015. The marathon made waves last year as it allowed some great glimpses into life in Pyongyang. The marathon is one of the only ways to see Pyongyang in a slightly less guided way. Granted that the route is obviously fixed, Canadian Jen Loong who ran the race last year said in a Q&A on Reddit, “This was one of the special perks of the run, where we ran unguided for the full distance, high five-ing local along the way… We couldn’t run off tracks surely with soldier on every block, but running at your own pace and interacting with locals was good enough for me!”
Jen Loong opted for an extended tour package that allowed her to stay in North Korea for around a week in total, but shorter trip options are available with Uri Tours. She gained notoriety last year along with some other foreigners who instagrammed their trips and the marathon.
What You Need to Know
Almost anyone can run in the 2014 Pyongyang Marathon but you cannot register for the marathon on your own. You must do so through a tour package. Americans and many other nationalities are welcome to join the race. Registration for the event and tour closes on March 20th.
Follow this link to find the complete list of the offiicial Pyongyang Marathon race rules.
Full marathon: $100 USD
Half marathon: $70 USD
10K: $50 USD
Spectators: $28 USD to watch soccer/football matches in the Kim Il Sung Stadium during the race
(Registration fees are collected prior to the tour; cost of the tour package is additional)
DISTANCE AND FINISH TIME:
Full Marathon: 42.195km; finish time of 4 hours
Half Marathon: 21.0975km; finish time of 4 hours
10K: finish time of 2 hours
There are no official qualifying times for the amateur marathon. However, you must either FINISH or STOP within the times mentioned above. If you do not finish within those times, a bus will pick you up and escort you back to the stadium. The streets will be re-open to traffic at about 1pm.
The race starts and ends in the Kim Il Sung Stadium. Professionals and amateurs will start at the same location and time. Race starts at approximately 9am and is finished before 1pm.
The official 2014 Pyongyang Marathon course route:
Depart from Kim Il Sung Stadium
Pass through the Arch of Triumph
Kumrung No.2 Tunnel
Congryu Rope Ladder on Taedong River
Munsu Riverside Street
Puksae riverside street
Re-enter through the Arch of Triumph
Arrive back at the Kim Il Sung Stadium
This is a 10K course and the marathon will make this loop 4 times, the half marathon twice.
Please wear solid colors; no tie dye, pictures or lettering. Top and bottom can be different colors, so long as they are one solid color each. If your shirt has a small logo, the logo can be no bigger than 30cm in rectangular size and the lettering must be less than 4cm in size, according to the regulations of the International Federation.
You’ll be given a number to pin to your shirt during the race. All runners must have a number affixed to their shirts.
Uri Tours will give you a great support kit which includes a nifty Pyongyang Marathon T-shirt, re-fuel drinks, energy snacks, marathon stickers and a bunch of other exclusive DPRK goodies!
Each amateur runner will get a certificate issued by the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon Committee. If you come in first, second or third in any of the amateur categories, you will also be awarded a medal at the awards ceremony in front of 50,000 local spectators in the Kim Il Sung stadium.
Uri Tour Packages
For full information and options visit Uri Tours online at www.uritours.com
Pyongyang Marathon Short Tour – Shanghai Departure
April 10-13 | departure from Shanghai Pudong Airport | 3 nights, 4 days in the DPRK | DPRK visas and Air Koryo flight included, orientation dinner in Shanghai, PY Marathon, PY city tour & DMZ tour | Starting at $1,250 USD
Pyongyang Marathon Long Tour – Shanghai Departure
April 10-16 | departure from Shanghai Pudong Airport | 6 nights, 7 days in the DPRK | DPRK visas and Air Koryo flight included, orientation dinner in Shanghai, PY Marathon, exclusive PY Bike Tour, boat ride in Nampho, DMZ tour | Starting at $2,050 USD
Get Ready to Run
The clock is ticking on registration time so now would the time to sign up. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to peer behind the curtain into North Korea, this is completely interesting way to do it. The race itself is professional and well organized and as far as travel goes, there aren’t many people who have set foot where this race will go. As a runner, we are more than excited to take part in the race. And as a traveler, North Korea is one of big ones to tick off. Without a tour, it’s impossible to cross that border. With this tour however, you can not only cross the border, you can run for it.