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Fervor for thr Marathon Inspired by the Korean sprit

The Marathon is the epitome of Korean sports. There is the Korean sprit in Marathon. That is why Marathon has become the most loved and supported sport in Korea by the general public. From Eun-Bae Kim and Ki-jung Son who were Olympic stars in the 1930s to Young-jo Hwang and Bong -ju Lee who were Olympic stars in these days, we acclaim them with all our hearts whenever the marathon heroes are born with monumental achievements. Is this the production of strong spirit or physical superiority? It is not a type of question that a scientific theory can provide answer like mythical legends. Anyhow, there was overflowing energy from the beginning when the Marathon started for the first time in Korea. As it was placed as a national sport from the start, it gathered interest of all the people and the Korean marathoners surprised the people around the world as well as the Japanese by winning the gold medal in Marathon in its early history. The heat for marathon among the Korean people was initiated and reinforced by the active support from the Media like the Dong-A Ilbo and schools like Yangjunggobo. It has passed 70 years since the starting-gun fired in Kyoungsung - Youngdungpo Marathon, the matrix of Dong-A Marathon. Now, here is a brief look at the history of Dong-A Marathon, which reflects the glory, frustration, joy and the rage of the Korean people.

Dong-A Marathon beganon the kyeong-Young road (Distance-50ri(14.5miles))

The 1st Dong-A Marathon - March 21,1931 The great ambitious race started with the siren informing the noon. The Marathon, with the circular road (round track) of Seoul - Youngdu ngpo, a measured distance of 14 and half miles, was the beginning of Dong-A Marathon. It was organized by Koryo Track Sports Association and co-sponsored by the Dong-A Ilbo and Chosen Athletic Association under the title of "The First Marathon Game". The course was the circular road (a round track) passing Kanghwamoon, Taepyeongtong, Namdaemoon, Han River Iron Bridge, Noryangjin and Youngdungpo Station. Among the 14 competitors were Sungkun Lee who was known as the Marathon King in the country, Yongwhan Byoun who was the best runner in the long distance, Eunbae Kim and others from Yangjungkobo. At that time, The Dong-A Ilbo ran an article under the title of 'the race in the bright and sunny day: who will be the first man to pass the finish line?' Chosun Athelatic Association under the leadership of Chairman Eekkyoum Yoo and other executives prepared for the event. The event draw keen att ention from people in Seoul. Eun Bae Kim, who was the top racer of Yangjungbogo, won the first glorious victory with a record of 1 hour 22 minutes and 5 seconds. Haeboong Yoo from Yangjungbogo with 1 hour 26 minutes and 22 seconds record followed him and Sunggun Lee who had been the best athlete at that time became the 3rd winner with 1 hour 27minutes and 22 seconds. Younghan Byoun, Kyounglark Choi and Insang Cho followed them. Thousands of people came out and gave cheers for the runners throughout the course.

A rookie Kijung Son from Shinyiju ranked 2nd

The Second Dong-A Marathon - March 21st, 1932 The same course with the 1st event and 29 competitors Even though Eunbae Kim, the winner of the 1st game, gave up the race because of his illness, a new face Kijung Son from Shinyiju came into the spotlight in this race. Yonghan Byun from the government won the race setting a new record of 1 hour 21 minutes and 51 seconds and a 20-year old man, Kijung Son was ranked 2nd with 1 hour 25 minutes and 25 seconds. Kyubok Baek followed him as a third winner..

kijung Son: Finally, he won the first victory

The 3rd Dong-A Marathon - 1933 The course was changed into the circular road from Goangwhamoon through Chunryanglee, Mangwoolee with the measured distance of 15 miles because of the repairment of Seoul-Inchun road. In very bright and sunny spring weather on March 21, 35 competitors, who started from the starting l ine in front of the Dong-A Ilbo building, did their best to set a new record and win the race. Kijung Son finally became the winner by putting on a spurt at the end of the course after he had close race with Haeboong Yoo. His record was new in 1 hour 24 minutes and 3 seconds. Haeboong Yoo was ranked the second with the record of 1 hour 24 minutes and 30 seconds lost to Son by 27 seconds. And Sungyong Nam followed him with the record of 1 hour 26 minutes and 46 seconds. At that time, Son was scouted by Yangjungbogo which had the main racer, Sungyong Nam.

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