5 Major Korea Races You Cannot Miss
South Korea is known as the land of K-Pop and kimchi, but did you know that there are some world-class marathon events held here as well?
From the beautiful Jeju Island to the serene Uiamho Lake, there's no better way to experience South Korea's wonderful scenery and weather up close and personal.
Here are some uniquely South Korean marathons that you simply cannot miss!
11th Cheorwon DMZ International Peace Marathon
Held in the Korean Demilitarised Zone (which despite its name is the most densely militarised zone in the world) on 28 September 2014, the 11th Cheorwon DMZ International Peace Marathon aims to promote peace and reconciliation for both sides.
This marathon is one of the only few ways for civilians to enter this almost untouched region. The land within the DMZ is pristine, and farmers who live inside receive special permission to grow and harvest rice. In fact, marathon participants receive 3kg of rice grown in the DMZ as part of their race pack goodies!
They've got everything from the full & half marathon to 10km and 5km categories, with registration fees ranging from 10,000 – 40,000 won (est. S$12 – S$47).
Chuncheon International Marathon 2014
Reportedly inspired by South Koreans Sohn Kee-Chung and Nam Sung-Yong winning the Olympic Gold and Bronze medals for the marathon in 1936, this is one of South Korea's oldest marathons, being held annually since 1946.
The Chuncheon International Marathon 2014 is will be held on 26 October 2014 (Sunday). Registration for the race will begin in May. The event also received an IAAF Gold Label from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The marathon route circles the beautiful Uiamho Lake, and runners can soak in the beautiful waterside scenery. The two categories (42.195km and 10km) both have a registration fee of 40,000 won (est. S$47).
Jeju Mandarin International Marathon Race 2014
With its natural sights, Jeju Island is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world.
South Korea's largest island is also known for its tasty mandarin oranges, and that's exactly what the Jeju Mandarin International Marathon Race on 16 November 2014 aims to promote.
Being a volcanic island, Jeju has plenty of hills and strong winds, making the marathon a truly exciting race for any runner.
You will be rewarded for finishing the challenging course: Overseas finishers will collect a box of famous Jeju mandarin oranges after crossing the finish line!
JoongAng Seoul Marathon 2014
This race is one of 2 marathon races held annually in South Korea's capital of Seoul. Runners start at the massive 70,000 capacity Jamsil Olympic Stadium, running past the World Peace Gate in the Seoul Olympic Park, and looping to finish back at the stadium.
The JoongAng Seoul Marathon has seen some fast finishes, with a course record of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 50 seconds set by James Kwambai in 2012. Thanks to its generally flat course, this is definitely one of the races that you can push for a personal best!
The JoongAng Seoul Marathon has an IAAF Silver Label, and takes place on 9 November 2014. The race also offers a race category for wheelchair athletes. Foreign runners will pay a registration fee of US$50.
Jeju International Trail Running 2014
Here's another race that takes place in Jeju Island. The Jeju International Trail Running 2014 race takes place on 12 October 2014, and aims to highlight the trail paths of this beautiful volcanic island. This might quite possibly be the best way to see Jeju Island's UNESCO World Heritage Sites; up close and personal with your trail running shoes.
Runners taking the 5km, 10km and 20km trail routes will be treated to the beautiful sights in the Saseumi Oreum (Saseumi Mountain) area.
There is also a 100km Trans-Jeju Island run spread over 3 days. Runners will spend their first day running 25km up the symbol of Jeju Island: Mount Hallasan. The second day's route will take place across 40km stretch of pristine Jeju coastline. Finally, runners will finish the last 35km along the Saseumi Oreum area.
Ride The Hallyu Wave
South Korea is definitely right next to Japan as one of Asia's top travel destinations. And hopefully we've shown you some races in South Korea that are worth running at least once in a lifetime!
Had an unforgettable overseas race experience? Get in touch and share them with us!