TORONTO — Intrepid Travel is giving both elite athletes and budding runners alike the rare opportunity to add North Korea to their marathon list and get a glimpse of the world’s most secretive country on a new Pyongyang Marathon Expedition taking off in April 2016.
A brand new addition to Intrepid’s popular Expedition range, the North Korea Pyongyang Marathon trip will allow travellers to participate in a full marathon (42.2km), half marathon (21.2km) or 10km run on April 10 in the nation’s capital. For those travellers who don’t own a pair of runners, then a ticket to a local football match is the substitute.
The Pyongyang Marathon is an annual event that was held for the first time in 1981 for men and shortly after included a race for women in 1984. International runners have only been allowed to participate over the last two years, with 650 foreigners taking part in 2015. Runners participate in an opening ceremony in the Kim Il Sung Stadium before running through the city and finishing at Pyongyang’s Arch of Triumph.
“It’s not possible to enter the Pyongyang Marathon without being part of a tour group, so it’s exciting to be able to offer such a rare opportunity to both amateur runners and those who travel around the world clocking up marathons in different countries,” says James Thornton, Intrepid Travel Managing Director. “The marathon takes place early on in the trip, leaving a week to travel around the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and explore this fascinating country.”
The trip includes a flight from Beijing into Pyongyang and will visit landmarks within the city as well as surrounding sights, including the demilitarized zone (DMZ), Mount Myohyang and the city of Pyongsong. Travellers can expect to see picturesque landscapes and waterfalls north of Pyongyang and a range of monuments and museums dedicated to the leaders and history of the country. An overnight train ride will take travellers back to Beijing where the trip ends.
Two local guides and a driver will accompany the group at all times and tourists are not allowed to travel around independently.
North Korea Pyongyang Marathon is the latest Intrepid Expedition trip, a style that was launched by the small group adventure company earlier this year. The off-map adventures were embraced by adventure travellers yearning to explore the unexplored, with two of the Expeditions – Rabaul Mask Festival in Papua New Guinea and Kosovo – fully booked.
“North Korea continues to fulfil the promise of our Expedition trips – it’s not an easily accessible destination and it leaves much to be discovered. We’re thrilled at the initial response to our Expeditions and will continue to launch more throughout 2016,” says Thornton.
North Korea Pyongyang Marathon Expedition is from $3,130 per person and departs on April 8 2016. For more information visit: intrepidtravel.com/north-korea/north-korea-pyongyang-marathon-expedition-96522.