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The 2019 Seoul Race held on Sunday

Posted October. 14, 2019 07:27,   

Updated October. 14, 2019 07:27


“It feels great but I also feel a bit shy (laugh).”

Kim Min-jun, the first place winner of the men’s half-course division at the 2019 Seoul Race with the record of one hour, 11 minutes and 34 seconds, scratched his head. He was one of the runners who earned the very first silver medal in the history of South Korean track and field at a marathon team event of the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Championships held in Osaka. This is his first medal from a master’s competition since he retired in 2011 and began training again recently.

Kim quit marathon after his retirement but started running again as he became nostalgic. “In Japan, there are runners who earn good records at master’s events and become elite athletes,” Kim said. “I’d like to play the role of a pacemaker to help to bring up such athletes.”

In the women’s division, Mamiko Shin of Japan won after completing the half course in one hour, 28 minutes and 18 seconds. Shin is working as a receptionist at a hospital in Tokyo and fell in love with running since she started marathon training to lose weight 10 years ago. She traveled to many places in the world, including South Korea, the U.S., the U.K., and Hong Kong, to compete at marathon events. She also competed six times at the Seoul International Marathon, the only gold label event in the country which is held in March every year. “This is the first time to win a medal at an event hosted by the Dong-A Ilbo,” Shin said. “My goal is to run a full course at the Seoul International Marathon under three hours and win a medal next year.”

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com