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Running in Korea - Marathons

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Korea Guide
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Jun 7, 2024
Experience of running marathons in Korea, the joy of participating, and the community feel of Korean running clubs.
Newsletter DNK
Newsletter DNK


Here's my journey of running four 10k races at various marathons in Korea! I'll admit, I used to hate running. However, the pandemic left me with little choice as all other forms of exercise were unavailable. So each morning, I would lace up my shoes and run a 5k around the nearest park. Then, one day, a friend asked me if I wanted to participate in the Seoul Marathon. It was a relay race for teams of four, with each person running approximately 10km around Seoul. That sounded like fun!
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Training for 10km

People often discuss the best running routines, shoes, stretching techniques, and all the other details that can distract you from the essential act of running itself! Before this, I had never run 10km, but now I had a goal. So, I opened up my running app, set 10km as my goal, and started running! Yes, it's that simple - not easy, though. I found that the first 5km were the hardest; after that, I found my rhythm and didn't stop until I finished!

Running Alone vs In a Group

Up until then, I always ran alone. I'd put on a podcast— I recommend one by David Goggins. Nothing gets you as fired up as a Navy Seal shouting at you about how weak you are and how you can strive to be better. My friends suggested we do a test run before running the Seoul Marathon and also get to know each other. We met up at this beautiful lake in Uiwang. Running in a group is so much fun. It gives you a sense of community, and you don't get tired as easily as you naturally get motivated by the people around you!
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Race Day - Seoul Marathon

The JTBC Seoul Marathon Relay was an amazing event, where we ran around the big landmarks in Seoul. The marathon was split into segments of roughly 10km each, making it a relay race. This format added an element of camaraderie and teamwork that was incredibly motivating. Along the way you have people cheering you on and providing water, ionic drinks or even cooling spray. You could feel the energy in every step. This event was not just about the run but also about experiencing the running culture and spirit
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The Joy of Participating in Marathons

After that first race, I somehow got hooked on participating in these events. They were so well organized, and they allowed me to see the city from an entirely different perspective. All the roads were blocked for the race, and I found myself running in the middle of the streets, cheered on by spectators along the way. Running side by side with thousands of other participants, I was swept up in an incredible atmosphere. Last year, I participated in four different events - three in Seoul and one in Chuncheon, Gangwon. The trip to Chuncheon was particularly memorable and I had an amazing time.
Seoul Maratahon, JTBC Seoul Marathon, Seoul Half Marathon, Chuncheon Marathon
Seoul Maratahon, JTBC Seoul Marathon, Seoul Half Marathon, Chuncheon Marathon

Running Clubs in Korea

Running clubs are a great way to meet connect with other runners in Korea, improve your running technique, and participate in races as a team. In Korea, there are several running clubs that both locals and expats can join. Most of these clubs have regular training schedules and participate in various marathons throughout the year.
Joining a running club in Korea is usually straightforward. Most clubs have a Facebook page or a website where you can find information about their training schedules and how to join. Some clubs might have a small membership fee, while others are free to join.


In conclusion, participating in marathons and joining running clubs in Korea can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It offers a unique way to explore the city, meet new people, and improve your physical health. Regardless of your running ability, I highly recommend signing up for a race. The atmosphere and sense of community can be truly inspiring, and it's a great way to challenge yourself. Trust me, crossing that finish line is a feeling like no other!

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About the Author

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Kim Ninja (Huy-Kim Nguyen)
Cloud Engineer / WebApp Developer 💻
Content Creator Bridging Korea 🇰🇷 to the World 🌎
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The blog published by Kim Ninja (Huy-Kim Nguyen) is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter.

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