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Try for a Sub-Three Time

Posted December. 15, 2005 08:59,   


“Run alongside the Cheonggyecheon; run through Seoul’s forest.”

Next year’s Dong-A Marathon will be something else. On March 12 next year, the 77th Dong-A Marathon and the 2006 Seoul International Marathon will take place on a new course that includes the now world-famous Cheonggyecheon and Seoul Forest.

An interesting course-

The new course begins at Gwanghwamun, makes a U-turn at the crossroads of Euljiro 5 (o)-ga, and runs alongside the recently restored Cheonggyecheon. Then it makes another U-turn at Gosanjagyo Bridge, making a full circle around Cheonggyecheon before heading toward Gunjagyo Bridge through Jongnogil. As soon as runners pass the Children’s Grand Park, they can breathe in the fresh air of Seoul Forest.

In the last marathon, the length of the course was evenly divided into sections south and north of the river. In the next marathon, the runners will run 36km between the starting point and Jamsildaegyo Bridge, and six kilometers more in Gangnam, which will greatly help prevent traffic congestion. Traffic in the new course will be easier to control, and a detour road will be made so that there are no serious traffic issues.

The new course was surveyed by Yoo Mun-jong of the Korea Athletics Federation. “We cut off the boring section in Songpa-gu and diverted the course to pass through Cheonggyecheon and Seoul Forest to put more fun in the run.”

-How about a new record?

The new course has but one gently-sloping uphill at the 16km point; from start to the 35km point, the course is mostly downhill.

The 35-36km section that passes Jamsildaegyo Bridge has a short ascent, and the next five kilometers of the course leading to Jamsil Sports Complex is also on level ground.

The traditional end section past 36km had a gentle uphill slope; this obstacle has been removed. The course also reduced wind resistance by taking two lane roads instead of wide four lane roads.

David Cundy, the Asia-Oceania representative of the Association of International Marathon and Road Races (AIMS), said, “Unlike 2005’s course, many uphill slopes are gone, which makes for an ideal running course.

-Registration for the marathon

Masters class applications are being accepted on the web at www.seoul-marathon.com. The entry fee is 40,000 won. Please call 02-2020-1630, 0708 (foreigners) for more information.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com