Posted October. 25, 2006 07:06,
Run through the 1,000-year-old city Gyeongju, feasting on the colors of autumn.
In 1994, a new era of Korean marathon began in Gyeongju. A masters section was added for the first time in Korea in the 1994 Dong-A International Marathon and 65th Dong-A Marathon.
One hundred seventy-two marathon club members participated in the half-marathon masters section introduced that year for the first time. In 1999, there were 11,303 participants, and recently, about 20,000 marathon masters ran in the Seoul International Marathon. This is why Gyeongju is called the Masters Marathons Mecca.
As the International Marathon moved to Seoul from 2000, the Gyeongju course was heralded as the festival of the Yeongnam masters marathon.
About 10,000 marathon masters will participate in the 2006 Gyeongju Open Marathon hosted by Gyeongju city and Dong-A Ilbo on October 29, and 93.73 percent of the participants are from the Yeongnam area, that is, the Gyeongsang provinces.
There will be 11 marathons to be held nationwide this day, including three full-course marathons, but 10,013 marathon club members from the Yeongnam area have chosen Gyeongju Open as the place for their self-struggles.
The two main attractive points of the Gyeongju Open are the landscape with the 1,000-year-old citys historical monuments and the plain course. With additional points including geographical convenience and neat race procedures, Yeongnam club members do not feel the need to travel far to go to any other marathon race.
Four hundred sixty runners of Wia Co. Ltd. in Changwon, the biggest group, will participate in the Gyeongju Open. As more than half of its employees enjoy running, Wia is known as a marathon enterprise. There are more than 200 runners with sub-three records (in the range of two hours). Other group runners of note include 122 runners of Ulsan Hyundai Motors marathon club and 105 of Daegu Bank marathon club. Marathon masters who make sub-three records this day will be awarded a certificate for the Dong-A Marathon Hall of Fame and an 18k badge.