In a move that is sure to disappoint many, (reports say that over 500 international runners had made plans to run) the North Korean government has decided to not issue visas to foreign runners for this year’s Pyongyang Marathon. The race is scheduled for April 12.
Last year was the first time they had opened the marathon to amateur foreign runners and there was a lot of interest from runners everywhere to run a marathon in one of the most closed countries. Registration for this marathon had to be made as part of a tour package with tour operators and has been open since November of last year.
It is going to be a disappointment to tour agencies (Koryo Tours being one of them) and runners to be sure. Supposedly, the reason that North Korea is denying runners (and really all foreigners since last year) is due to Ebola concerns. For a government that is used to misleading and hiding things, I am sure no one really believes that reason but it does not matter as the 2015 Pyongyang Marathon will not play host to any foreign runners.
Had you planned on running this year’s race?
HT: Runner’s World