Kentucky State University freshman Duncan Adams of Lawrenceburg, Ky., says he’s never been outside the United States, has never even been on an airplane and has never run a 10K race.
This spring he wants to change all that by traveling to North Korea to compete in the Pyongyang Marathon, a 10K run that serves as one of the many activities that celebrate the country’s former late leader Kim II-sung. The marathon is on April 12.
“It’s the most unique place on Earth,” Adams says.
He says he’s been researching North Korea for months – since he came across information about the race online – reading about the country’s history and landscape as many in the United States followed news about a Sony Pictures hack before the release of the film “The Interview,” the controversial film that makes fun of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The 18-year-old says many of his friends and relatives think he’s crazy for wanting to travel to North Korea. But he hasn’t let that stop him from trying to raise money for the trip on the crowdfunding site “Go Fund Me.” His goal is to raise $3,200.
The race has only recently opened to amateur runners, Adams says. Few Americans have participated in the race and few have ever traveled to the country. Adams says he believes he will be safe, but he will travel with guides, which is required by the government, during a weeklong visit.
“I want to experience people that most people will never experience,” Adams says. “It’s a once in a lifetime thing.”
Adams says he plans to practice running now that school has started and he has access to the gym on campus, but he doesn’t suspect he’ll have any trouble finishing the race.
“I’m going to do some running here and there,” he says.
Adams says he plans to also look into teaching English in North Korea in the future.