What better way to take your runs to new heights than with races in Korea? After all, it has been said that,
“The Marathon is the epitome of Korean sports. There is the Korean spirit in Marathon.”
RunSociety shares top tips for daebak—Korean for ‘great!’—races you must absolutely know. There are road races, like the Seoul International Marathon and Daegu International Marathon, for you to try. Discover must-catch scenic races during the crisp spring and vibrant autumn seasons, including the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon, Chuncheon Marathon and Jeju Mandarine International Marathon.
Seoul International Marathon 2015
Also known as the Dong-A Seoul International Marathon, this IAAF Gold-labelled road race will feature its 86th edition this 2015. While it’s a chilly end of winter season, you’ll feel the pulse of the inner city of Seoul and be awed by intricate historical sites along the road course.
While those taking the 10km Seoul Challenge will start at ‘Ttukseom Resort’ subway station, full marathoners will kick off at Gwanghwamun Square, a historic and symbolic square. At the centre sits a grand gold statue of King Sejong the Great, the fourth and most respected king of the Joseon Dynasty and creator of Hangeul, Korea’s alphabet. Both categories will finish at Jamsil Olympic Main Stadium which has hosted some of the biggest global sporting events, including the 10th Asian Games and the 24th Seoul Olympics.
Date of Race: Sunday, 15 March 2015
Registration Period: 8 December 2014 – 28 February 2015
Race Categories: Full marathon, Seoul Challenge 10km
Terrain: Mostly flat, except for some bumpy roads
Participation Fees: 50,000 won (full marathon), 40,000 won (10km)
Find out more about the Seoul International Marathon Race here.
Set off on a 6D4N trip to superb Seoul! Go wild at Lotte World theme park and Lotte World Aqurium before rounding off the day at Lotte World Mall, the largest luxurious department store in Korea. Post-race, visit the grand Gyeongbukgong Palace, sightsee various points of interest and shop at the well-known Myeongdong Shopping Street.
Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon 2015
There’s no better way to relish in cherry blossoms than running with the 24th Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon along scenic pavements lined with these delicate pink flora. Breathe in the invigorating spring air as you meander around the city of Gyeongju, gorgeously adorned with blooming flowers and greening trees.
All categories will begin at Gyeongju Culture Expo Square, and depending on the length of your run, you’ll survey vast landscapes of country clubs and catch glimpses of the town area as well. Tracing along Bomun Lake in the chilly weather, you’ll feel those muscles relax as you run and overlook tranquil waters. After that, celebrate with a variety of tasty Korean food and cold beer—apparently, Gatorade is for the weak!—at the after-run festival! You won’t be disappointed.
Date of Race: Saturday, 4 April 2015
Registration Period: 16 December 2014 – 15 March 2015
Race Categories: Full marathon, Half Marathon, 10km, 5km
Terrain: Mostly flat
Participation Fees: 30,000 won (Full marathon, Half Marathon, 10km), 20,000won (5km)
Learn more the beautiful Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon 2015 on their official website.
Start planning your 7D5N caper—it’s a popular destination at this time of the year! Explore ancient Korean temples and the Cheomseongdae Observatory, the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia. Soak in the Spa Water Park post-race and revitalise yourself for more exciting sightseeing and shopping trips!
Daegu International Marathon 2015
Presenting its 14th edition in spring 2015, the Daegu International Marathon is designed for runners of all fitness levels—and what better way to push your fitness boundaries in this fittingly named “City of Hope”. Elites, experienced and novice runners will course through this metropolitan city and observe the interplay of sleek, modern buildings beautifully juxtaposed against cultural heritage landmarks.
Departing from Daegu Gukchaebosang Memorial Park, marathoners will climb and descend from Sincheon Crossroads till the intersection of Dongshin Bridge and Shinchongdo. After the relatively smooth run till the 15km mark, runners will cross many bridges and take in several new sights and angles of this colourful city before finishing triumphantly back at the starting point.
Date of Race: Sunday, 5 April 2015
Registration Period: 8 December 2014 – 7 March 2015
Race Categories: Master Full marathon, Half Marathon, 10km, Run4Health
Terrain: Mostly flat with bridges
Participation Fees: 60,000 won (Master Full marathon), 40,000 won (Half Marathon), 30,000 won (10km), 15,000won (Run4Health)
Chuncheon Marathon 2015
Imagine running in 15 degree Celsius—this ‘shiok’ feeling is simply ‘jjang’ (Korean for “the best thing ever”)! Also known as the Chosunilbo Chuncheon International Marathon, this race is the 2nd oldest marathon in Korea after the Seoul International Marathon and will be into its 66th edition in 2015. We know that you’ll enjoy this autumn run amongst red and amber foliage as much as we have!
Flagging off from Gongjicheon Park at Chuncheon city, runners will be treated to lovely lakeside scenery throughout the race. At the 2km mark on the sports town road, particippants will see the Jungdo dock, a specialty of this city. Full marathoners can expect more uphill challenges along the way, but will be rewarded with views from Sinme Bridge and Chuncheon dam.
Date of Race: Sunday, 25 October 2015*
Registration Period: Early June 2015 – Mid September 2015*
Race Categories: Full marathon, 10km
Terrain: Mostly flat, with a 1km gradual climb
Participation Fees: 20,000 (Full marathon), 5,000 (10km)
*subject to changes
Keep on top of race news at the Chuncheon Marathon 2015 official website.
Here’s another 7D5N tour to consider: Enjoy a more hands-on holiday experience with programmes like making your own kimchi, trying on the traditional Korean costume Hanbok and fruit picking!
Jeju Mandarin International Marathon 2015
Hosting its 13th edition this year, this marathon has the word “Mandarin” in it for obvious reason: Jeju island is famous for its sweet mandarin oranges! Organised in conjunction with the Seogwipo International Citrus Pre-Expo, the Jeju Mandarin International Marathon will be themed around mandarin oranges. Foreign participants will get to bring home a 5kg box of these citrus delicacies!
All pumped up, runners will set off from Jeju World Cup Stadium, which is designed like the mouth of a volcano, with a roof fashioned like traditional fishing boat nets in Jeju. From there, they will run through Haeundae garden and pass by Sammae Mountain.
Date of Race: Sunday, 15 November 2015*
Registration Period: End July 2014 – Early October 2015*
Race Categories: Full marathon, Half Marathon, 10km, 5km
Terrain: Many ascends and descends but mostly manageably flat
Participation Fees: 30,000 won (Full marathon, Half Marathon), 20,000 won (10km), 15,000won (5km)
*subject to changes
Stay up to date with race details on the Jeju Mandarin International Marathon 2015 official website.
A relaxing 7D5N retreat will comprise of eye-opening nature experiences like a trip to Jeju Island, one of the new 7 wonders of nature. Ascend Seongsan Sunrise Peak, a volcanic crater offering a spectacular coastal view. You’ll also unwind in fun attractions like the Trick Art Museum—a 3D illusion art museum and the Teddy Bear Museum amongst many others.
Psst! Don’t Say We Didn’t Tell You!
RunSociety members get dips on special discounts!
With a Basic membership, each couple gets a S$40 discount off travel packages with Dynasty Travel. Premium members save S$50 per couple!
Check out our Event Discount section today!
Now that you’ve got the race dates marked and travel packages sorted, don’t forget to get extra tips on running a marathon in South Korea!
Are you hooked on the Hallyu Wave (Korea Wave) or have you always been enthralled to visit sparkling Korea? Share your thoughts with us! We’d love to hear your travel tales and reveries!
Pictures in this article are courtesy of Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO).