Pounding the pavements in Pyongyang half-marathon

Runners taking selfies at the flag-off point of the Pyongyang Autumn Amateur Marathon on Sept 23. The run is geared at amateur runners amid burgeoning interest in long-distance running, said the organisers.
Runners taking selfies at the flag-off point of the Pyongyang Autumn Amateur Marathon on Sept 23. The run is geared at amateur runners amid burgeoning interest in long-distance running, said the organisers.ST PHOTO: LIM YAN LIANG

PYONGYANG • Out of breath and looking to distract myself from my aching thighs that were fast turning my 21km run into a chore, I turned my attention to my surroundings as I took in their uncanny similarities to Singapore.

There was the warmth and humidity of a balmy September morning, the rich greenery and perfectly manicured trees, the relatively modern high-rise blocks of flats, the playgrounds and even a bicycle-sharing station. Completing this picture were sweaty runners decked in singlets and shorts.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2018, with the headline 'Pounding the pavements in Pyongyang half-marathon'. Print Edition | Subscribe