Seoul Marathon Award System

19 Mar 2024
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Regarding the award system, Seoul Marathon operates its award system in line with global standards, but due to inquiries from curious individuals, we would like to make an announcement.

Seoul Marathon operates its award system in accordance with the New York Marathon's award system, which is one of the world's top and largest marathons, tailored to fit the Korean context.

The New York Marathon divides its awards into international, domestic, and masters categories. The international category is conducted as an open competition, meaning awards are given based solely on performance regardless of elite registration status, nationality, age, etc. However, separate awards are given for the domestic category aimed at nurturing and encouraging domestic marathon runners, as well as for the masters category for participants aged 40 and above.

The Boston Marathon does not provide separate awards for the domestic category. Additionally, London, Berlin, Chicago, and Tokyo do not announce their award systems.

Seoul Marathon divides its awards into international and domestic categories, with the domestic category further divided into elite and masters categories for award purposes. The international category follows an open competition format, awarding based on performance rankings.

While the elite category of the domestic division has been limited to elite athletes until 2022, the Korea Association of Athletics Federations (KAAF) has opened eligibility to masters athletes starting from 2023, resulting in domestic open competition. As a result, Hana Kim became the first masters participant to receive 6th place recognition in the domestic category last year.

In 1994, Seoul Marathon (Dong-A Marathon) has created a category for ordinary citizens to participate, separate from the elite category, and has instituted a separate award system for the masters category, which is designed for domestic masters. Over the years, issues have arisen in the masters category award system. Cases have occurred where domestic elite athletes immediately participated after retirement and won awards.

 To address this, a rule was established excluding individuals registered as elite athletes within the last 2 years from participating and receiving awards. In 2023, cases occurred where overseas elite athletes participated in the masters category and won multiple awards, prompting a revision of the award system in 2024 to align with the original intent of awarding for domestic masters.

Please take note of these changes.

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