01 January 2018, 8am
Sun 18 March 2018
The Seoul Marathon is the oldest continuously-held marathon in Asia. Dating from 1931 it is also the second-oldest in the world after the Boston Marathon. The course goes through the heart of the Korean capital and is one of the fastest in the world.
The race embodies the history of modern Korea and is also referred to as “The Miracle on the Han River”. Starting from Gwanghwamun (the palace), at the very heart of the South Korean capital, it passes by the City Hall and “Cheong-Gye-Cheon” – the testament of Korea’s recent history, and ends in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Stadium.
The event has continued to be held through the decades thanks to the unswerving devotion and interest of participants and their contribution to Korean athletics, and to the generous support of Dong-A Ilbo.
The Seoul Marathon is where Sohn Kee-chung won in 1936 prior to becoming Olympic Champion at the Berlin Olympics that year. Hwang Young-cho, 1992 Olympic gold medallist in Barcelona, won the Seoul Marathon the year after becoming Olympic champion. Of the top 28 times recorded by Koreans 10 were set in the Seoul Marathon. Many overseas marathon stars – including the former world record holder Patrick Makau – have also run the race.
It is the only IAAF Gold Label race in the Republic of Korea. The men’s course record is 2:05:13 and the women’s 2:19:51: these are exceptional times which are hard to find anywhere.
About 35,000 runners take part in the Seoul Marathon. Apart from the full-length marathon four other races are hosted including a Half Marathon, a 4-person relay and a 10km. All participants who apply before the deadline are welcome.
Times set in Seoul are accepted as qualification to participate in other major marathons such as Boston and New York. Many amateur runners who plan to run in these marathons run in Seoul to qualify. All runners receive a commemorative t-shirt and those who finish also get a certificate and finisher’s medal.
Apart from the running participants can enjoy the sights of Seoul and the rich variety of foods available. Transportation and accommodation are very convenient as the competition is held in the centre of Seoul.