North Korea Reopens Pyongyang Marathon to Foreign Runners

by REERA YOO |@reeraboo

North Korea has reopened the Pyongyang Marathon to overseas runners after ending a travel ban on foreigners over Ebola fears, according to Reuters.

Koyro Tours, a British-run tourism company based in Beijing, sent out a marketing email earlier this month saying that they are now accepting tourist applications for the international marathon scheduled for April 12, 2015.

This is the second time the Pyongyang Marathon has allowed amateur runners from other nations to participate in the race, only by joining specific tour groups.

The race starts and end at the Kim Il-sung Stadium. Amateur runners must finish the marathon within the allotted time of four hours. Runners who do not finish or stop within the time limit will be picked up by a bus and escorted back to the stadium, according to the Uri Tours’ website .

The New York Times reported that North Korea is eager to boost its tourism industry, especially with visitors from China. In 2013, North Korea attracted about 100,000 tourists, with the majority of visitors from China and Russia. Last year, the reclusive country established its first luxury ski resort and opened the Pyongyang marathon to overseas runners for the first time.


Featured image via Uri Tours