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A Luxurious Course

Posted June. 13, 2007 03:03,   


The Gyeongju Marathon course is famous for its scenic beauty. Starting with the competitions in 2007, it is getting a makeover to improve conditions for its runners.

The biggest change comes at the Cheongun-ro next to Bomun Lake. The 6km from its beginning to turn point number two will be closed down.

This section, which begins at the 28.5km marker, has a steep incline for about 100 meters and is particularly difficult for novice marathoners.

The Alcheonnam-ro runs from near the Bunhwang Temple, along the Buk Stream, up to the Hwangseong Bridge. This 3.5 km-long section will also be shut down. It was infamous for its strong headwinds.

These two sections will be cordoned off and replaced by more courses through the city. A south course sector was added, which will pass by Banwolseong Castle and Gyeongju National Museum.

These sector changes create a 42.195 km-long flat course with almost no inclines. Meanwhile, the integrity of the course is maintained and Gyeongju’s cultural heritage can still be enjoyed.

The course begins inside Hwangseong Park. It passes all the historic sites: the Cheomseongdae, Daeneungwon and Ohreung royal tombs, Anapji Pond, Seokbingo (early 18th century ice cellar), Heungryunsa and Hwangryongsa temples, and Gyeongju National Museum.

Marathoners can run along the Hyeongsan River and through the golden fields of the southern metro area, taking in the late fall atmosphere.

Yoo Moon-jong is vice-chair of the committee on the Korea Athletics Foundation. He pointed out, “Inclines were difficult for marathoners. Now that those sectors have been closed, our runners will be able to run with more confidence.” He also stated, “[with] the flatter course, we have high expectations for more record-breaking times.”

There are high hopes for marathon records such as that of marathoner Kim Wan-ki, who set a national record of 2 hours 8 minutes and 34 seconds in 1994 on the original course.