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Dong-A Marathon Award Attracts Korea’s Top Runners

Posted October. 20, 2005 06:16,   


The 2005 Dong-A Ilbo Gyeongju Open Marathon, a celebration of master marathoners, is only 10 days away.

The top masters will compete for the first Dong-A Ilbo Masters’ Hall of Fame award that will be given to successful runners in this competition on October 30.

“Dong-A Ilbo Masters’ Hall of Fame” is a title that Dong-A Ilbo came up with to promote marathon running in the nation and to enhance the records of grass-roots marathoners. The title will be given to “sub-three” marathoners, those who run the full course of Dong-A Ilbo’s marathon competitions within two hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds. Hall of Fame members will be given a certificate and an 18K “sub-three certification badge” with the Dong-A Marathon logo on it.

The first in the series is the Gyeongju Open Marathon. Since the first Hall of Fame honor will be given to the masters marathoner with the top record among all sub-three marathoners, the country’s marathon aces will be there, and there will be fierce competition.

Top masters Shin Dong-yeok (33, Wia), veteran half-marathoner Im Gyu-il (34, FAG Bearing Korea), Kim Seong-dae (25, Wia), and Jeong Gwang-gyun (27, Wia) are strong candidates for the Hall of Fame in the men’s division.

“The first Hall of Fame title shall be mine”-

Shin is a veteran who has won several marathons, including winning two consecutive Gyeongju Opens. He went into a brief slump since achieving his highest record (2:26:13) at the 2003 Seoul International Marathon, but is regaining his condition. Working out three hours a day, he is preparing for a “Gyeongju legend.” “I gave up all other marathons that are being held in the fall in order to prepare for the Gyeongju Open,” Shin said. “I will do my best for the Hall of Fame honor.”

For Im, this will be his first official full-course attempt. Having won various half-marathons with times of one hour and nine to ten minutes Im is training for the full course and looks forward to a record of two hours and 20 minutes.

Kim (2:31:21), Jeong (2:32:25), and Shim Jae-deok (2:33:25, 25, Daewoo Shipping and Marine Engineering) are dark horses. Especially in Wia, the so-called “marathon company”, nine marathoners, including Shin, are included in the top ten list. Meanwhile, in the women’s division, Seo Jeong-hee (37, North Gyeongsang Province Election Commission in Youngcheon) is aiming for the Hall of Fame as well. Her top record is two hours 59 minutes and 23 seconds.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com