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Marathoners to run same course at Dong-A marathon, 100th National Sports Festival

Marathoners to run same course at Dong-A marathon, 100th National Sports Festival

Posted March. 13, 2019 07:39,   

Updated March. 13, 2019 07:39


Marathoners will run along the same course at the 90th Dong-A Seoul Marathon and the 100th National Sports Festival.

The 100th National Sports Festival scheduled in October plans to run the same course as that of the 2019 Seoul International Marathon or the 90th Dong-A Seoul Marathon to be held on Sunday. After discussion with the Seoul metropolitan government and the Seoul Sports Council, the Korea Athletics Federation has concluded that the “golden-labeled” course has been certified internationally, thus requiring no any further recognition step.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 100th National Sports Festival since 1920, making it all the more meaningful. It has been recognized as the top national athletics event that occurs on a yearly basis – except the period between 1937 and 1944, when the Joseon Sports Association, the forerunner of the Korea Athletics Federation, was forcibly dissembled under Japanese rule, and the year of 1950 when the Korean War broke out.

Seoul City will host the festival for the first time in 33 years since 1986, preparing for the largest-ever organizing committee under Mayor Park Won-soon’s leadership. The celebratory clock tower equipped with a countdown timer was established around Seoul Square on Dec. 8 last year at an official event in celebration of the D-300 day.

The Seoul International Marathon, or the 90th Dong-A Seoul Marathon, is the only golden labeled event in Korea, which is certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Along with it, the Daegu International Marathon is a silver-labeled event. The IAAF reviews and grades events by eval‎uating details such as athletes’ records, the number of participants, sponsors and broadcasting scale and doping detection.

Since certified as golden-labeled in 2010, the Seoul International Marathon has maintained its honor. The organizing committee of the event has prepared for an ascent to the platinum label in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Dong-A Ilbo.

Since 1931, the course of the Dong-A Seoul Marathon, which turned into the Seoul International Marathon in 2000, has been preserved overall regardless of some minor changes according to the timing of the opening. It starts from Gwanghwamun Gate to reach Jamsil Sports Complex. It is a rare chance for runners to run the urban area of Seoul and the course gives them chances for better record-making thanks to a minor elevation difference along the course. The Dong-A Seoul Marathon in spring is famous as a must-run event among master marathoners.

Participants can meet Lee Bong-ju, the honorary ambassador of the 100th National Sports Festival, at Gwanghwamun Square on Sunday. The event’s organizing committee plans to promote the opening of the event by installing official mascot figures and displaying placards at Gwanghwamun Square, Olympic Park (10 kilometers from the start point) and Jamsil Sports Complex.

Seung-Kun Lee why@donga.com