Running 42.195 km, the marathon is a sport that constantly tests human limits. Every moment, we have to challenge our physical limits and overcome yesterday’s me. You can’t just do it fast. You can reach the finish line only when you have your physical strength, skills, and mental strength. This is why the marathon is called the ‘flower of the Olympics’ and decorates the finale of the Summer Olympics.
Kim Seong-gun (9), a student at Nammyung Elementary 바카라 School in Nam-gu, Daegu, is a marathon runner who has overcame himself countless times even at a young age. Known as the ‘youngest marathon runner’, he is a promising runner who is highly anticipated by the domestic marathon world.
He was much younger when the modifiers ‘Prodigy’ and ‘Genius’ were attached to Kim.
In 2017, he started his relationship with the marathon by participating in the Yeongdong Marathon in Chungcheongbuk-do. He surprised the people around him by showing tireless stamina and fast running while running together to support his aunt who participated in the competition at the time. Later, at the Samguk Yusa Marathon held in Gunwi, North Gyeongsang Province, Kim completed the 10 km in 1 hour 13 minutes 25 seconds, and his story was reported through various media.
It is evaluated that he has no rivals among his peers. He has participated in nearly 100 marathons so far and has succeeded in completing 5km, 10km, and half. In October of last year, he participated in the Dalseo Half Marathon and set an excellent record of 1 hour 32 minutes 25 seconds. He was a grade that corresponds to the 7th place in the youth group standard.
The reason why Kim is able to show excellent skills is thanks to his high fighting spirit and passion, plus his innate running posture and cardiorespiratory endurance.
Choi Jeong-du, president of the Daegu Namgu Athletics Federation, who has been teaching Kim for several years, said, “The hind leg runs so that it reaches the tip of the buttocks, and the center of gravity is very stable. It is not easy to train in this posture.” “It’s much shorter than the average adult,” he explained.
Chairman Choi evaluates Kim’s growth potential very highly.
President Choi said, “Last year, Seong-goon set a new world record for an 8-year-old by setting 18 minutes and 35 seconds in 5km on a 400m track.”
Kim’s role model is Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya. Kipchoge set a world record of 2 hours 1 minute 09 seconds at the 2022 Berlin Marathon, and is a person who is close to the 2-hour barrier (sub-2) of Ma. When I watch Kipchoge run, a dream stirs in my heart. It is the marathon ‘Asia No. 1’.
“It’s really hard during training. But I persevere. I want to become a great national team member later and win a medal. To be honest, I don’t know if I’ll be number 1 in the world, but I think I can be number 1 in Asia!”