Masikryong Marathon: take part in the first ever trail run in North Korea
Travelling to North Korea remains difficult and exclusive, but a number of specialised travel agencies in China have managed to take the hassle out of a DPRK trip. The mysterious 'hermit kingdom' itself has been opening its gates to the outside world bit by bit in recent years - and especially so for runners. The capital city's Pyongyang Marathon has already obtained a certain cult status on the road calendar, and convinced trail runners can now also look forward to the first ever trail race in North Korea in the brand new Masikryong Ski Resort area on 4 October 2015.
The Masikryong Marathon offers four distances to runners: 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km. Start and finish is at the resort's hotel and the course is of course quite hilly (see course map below). Via the China-based agencies Experience North Korea in Shanghai (for international runners), and ZX Tour in Beijing (for mainland China runners) the North Korean race organiser is allowing no fewer than 200 'foreign' runners to come and take part in the unique event.
Moreover, we are happy to announce that the Masikryong Marathon has requested Asia Trail Master Candidate Race status for its upcoming inaugural edition. The Asia Trail Master series is entirely non-political, and we believe this is a positive signal to help foster the integration of North Korean runners into the Asian and international sports community. Stumbling blocks for Masikryong to become a full member of the 2016 or 2017 ATMs race calendar will still need to be overcome, but we applaud the good intentions.
The trip to North Korea for English-speakers will commence in either Shanghai or Beijing and has been designed by Experience North Korea, an online travel agency that offers safe and economically friendly tours throughout North Korea. Its itineraries are filled with those ‘once in a life time’ experiences and the goal is to provide clients with a unique and unforgettable trip, the likes of which only a handful of adventurous travelers experience every year.
Experience North Korea is the result of a professional union between respected members of the travel and tourism community. Individuals who were inspired by their own life changing experiences during their travels to the DPRK, so much so that they have now made it their mission to promote regular cultural exchanges in order for people to learn more about North Korea through firsthand experiences.
Specific details about the itinerary and the 3, 4 or 7-day programme can be read here.
You can sign up either via Asia Trail Master, easy if you already have a profile account, or via Experience North Korea itself (making reference to ATMs to ensure you receive a participant's gift). When you sign up your will be asked for your preferred payment method, and we will come back to you in due course to complete the registration procedure for this unique event.
Video on Youku (mainland China)