mobile-bannertablet-bannerdesktop-banner
Runners take off from the starting line inside Kim Il Sung Stadium at the beginning of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 13, 2014.
Runners take off from the starting line inside Kim Il Sung Stadium at the beginning of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 13, 2014.David Guttenfelder—AP
Runners take off from the starting line inside Kim Il Sung Stadium at the beginning of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 13, 2014.
North Korean spectators watch from the roadside in central Pyongyang as runners pass by during the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang, April 13, 2014.
The lead pack of runners are cheered on by North Korean spectators on the roadside in central Pyongyang during the running of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang on April 13, 2014.
Runners pass under a pedestrian bridge in central Pyongyang during the running of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang, on April 13, 2014.
North Korean spectators watch and cheer from the stands of Kim Il Sung Stadium as runners arrive at the finish of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang on April 13, 2014.
North Korean twin sisters Kim Hye Gyong (135) and Kim Hye Song (136) take a victory lap together inside Kim Il Sung Stadium after placing first and second respectively in the the women's Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang, on April 13, 2014.
North Korean race officials stand at the finish line inside Kim Il Sung Stadium during the running of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang on April 13, 2014.
Tourists who competed in the shorter distance segments of the marathon, rest at the end of the race on April 13, 2014. From left are Harriet Harrper-Jones, England, and Allie Wu, Taiwan. The sign behind them reads "Long Live the Shining Revolutionary Tradition of Our Party."
Runners take off from the starting line inside Kim Il Sung Stadium at the beginning of the Mangyongdae Prize Internatio
... VIEW MORE

David Guttenfelder—AP
1 of 8

North Korea Marathon Opens to Foreign Amateurs

Apr 14, 2014

Organizers of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon, recognized as a bronze-label event by the International Association of Athletics Federations and held for the past 27 years, told the Associated Press they opted to allow the new recreational runners in an effort to more boldly celebrate the birthday of their nation's founder, Kim Il Sung, on April 15. Officials said the race, which typically has featured elite foreigners, included 225 amateurs and runners from 27 countries. The course, a largely flat path of four loops around the center of the city, had to be completed within four hours so roads could be reopened. A half marathon and a 10-kilometer run were also held as thousands of North Koreans lined the streets to cheer the participants.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.