Young Pioneer Tours

Pyongyang Marathon FAQ

The Pyongyang Marathon or also known as the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is an incredibly unique marathon event held in North Korea annually. Our Pyongyang Marathon FAQ article covers all questions regarding costs, regulations, and what to expect of the marathon events to better prepare you for a run of a life time.

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How to enter the Pyongyang Marathon

To partake in the Pyongyang marathon you must be apart of an organised North Korean tour group. Both the marathon events are open to all foreign amateur runners. However, there is a current travel ban on those travelling on a US passport, and South Korean passport travellers are not permitted to enter the DPRK.

The Pyongyang Marathon committee also welcomes differently-abled runners. Registry for all marathon runners is on a first come first served basis and limited to 1500 runners in total. Registrations close one month before the marathon events commence.

All running participants will receive a Pyongyang marathon certificate and those who place will receive medals and unique North Korean awards.

Pyongyang Marathon FAQ route

The Pyongyang marathon event begins and concludes with a grand opening and closing ceremony in Kim Il Sung Stadium located in the heart of Pyongyang packed with 70,000 locals.

Throughout the marathon route runners will pass iconic landmarks and buildings in Pyongyang such as the Arch of Triumph, the Korean War Museum, Kim Il Sung Square, Kim Il Sung University, the Juche Tower. The route will eventually lead you out towards the countryside just outside the city outskirts, before turning around and running back the same route again towards the stadium to cross the finish line.

There are four different distances available to runners:

  • Full Marathon (42km/26 miles)
  • Half Marathon (20km/12 miles)
  • Mini Marathon (10km/6 miles)
  • Fun Marathon (5km/3 miles)

Along the route are designated water stations and toilets that are marked clearly with signs in English. There are also thousands of North Korean marathon volunteers along the route to assist you for any needs. Ambulances and the Red Cross Organisation are present within the stadium and along the route for any medical emergencies.

The route is clearly marked with fluro traffic cones making it incredibly easy to follow. Before the marathon event takes place YPT tours will arrange a drive along the route to give you a better understanding on where to go to better prepare you. If you do get lost, simply ask any volunteer available and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Time limit for Pyongyang Marathon

The maximum time limit for the full marathon is 4 hours and a half hours, half marathon is 2 and a half hours and the 10KM and 5KM marathon is 2 hours.

If you are unable to complete your run within time limit, a bus will drive along the route to pick up the remaining runners and return them to the stadium for the closing event.

For those who finish the event early, feel free to continue your stretch within the stadium complex, or take a seat and enjoy a local North Korean football match that takes place whilst the runners are outside of the stadium.

Once the 4 hour time limit is reached and all runners are returned to the stadium for the closing ceremony. The top 3 runners in each of the men’s and women’s category for the 10 km, half and full marathon will take their place on the stadium’s podium for the award ceremony.

Pyongyang Marathon FAQ clothing regulation

Asides from comfortable running clothing, entrants are also recommended to bring a tracksuit (jacket and trousers)  for attendance at the opening and closing ceremonies. The size and number of any logos on clothing is regulated according to AIMS regulations, however, the Pyongyang Marathon is notable for an extra rule – no American or Japanese flags are allowed to be displayed on any items of clothing including shoes.

Pyongyang Marathon registration costs

The entry fees for the marathon are as follows, those may be subject to change by the ministry of sport or the Pyongyang Marathon Committee. Both the April Marathon and Autumn Marathon have different registration costs.

April Marathon Event

RaceCost of Entry
5KM Marathon (5km/3 miles) €65 Euros
10KM Marathon (10km/6 miles) €65 Euros
Half Marathon (20km/12 miles) €90 Euros
Full Marathon (42km/26 miles) €135 Euros

Autumn Marathon Event

RaceCost of Entry
5KM Marathon (5km/3 miles) €40 Euros
10KM Marathon (10km/6 miles) €50 Euros
Half Marathon (20km/12 miles) €65 Euros
Full Marathon (42km/26 miles) €80 Euros

A race timing chip and bib is included in the price above.

What do our runners from previous marathon events say about us and the marathon on TripAdvisor?

“Pyongyang Marathon is an absolute must. Finishing the run with a lap around the stadium infront of 50,000 people was amazing. YPT tour guide was excellent – had sound information on NKorea and Pyongyang, joined in all the fun and made it an unforgettable experience”

“What an unbelievable experience. We did the Pyongyang marathon which was one of the best experiences of my life – 70,000 people going mad in the stadium and the start and finale and more cheering you through the streets – as a non-professional athlete I would go just for the experience of feeling like one.”

“I did the Marathon tour in April 2014 with YPT, and it was a blast! Had a great group of people and the whole experience was amazing… I would love to see more of the country, and when I go back I’ll definitely join YPT again.”

DPRK Travel Update – Pyongyang Marathon FAQ for 2024!

OK, so while the DPRK is still closed to tourism there have been numerous rumblings about if and indeed when the country will be reopened to tourists. Mots recently this has involved news that athletes are set to be allowed into the country from January 2024.

We are therefore extremely hopeful that the country will be accepting tourists by this time and that the 2024 Pyongyang Marathon will once again welcome foreign spectators and participants.

Contact us to secure your spot on the Pyongyang Marathon