“I will break the stagnation of the Korean marathon.”
On the 19th of last month, Park Min-ho (24, Kolon), who won the domestic men’s division by recording 2 hours 10 minutes 13 seconds at the 2023 Seoul Marathon and the 93rd Dong-A Marathon, was full of confidence. Although he failed to achieve the 2 hour 9 minute mark he originally set as a goal, Park Min-ho once again confirmed the possibility that he could ‘do it’ through this race.
Park Min-ho, who made his debut in the full course of the 42.195km marathon in 2019 with 2 hours 15 minutes 45 seconds, advanced to 2 hours 13 minutes 43 seconds in 2021, 2 hours 11 minutes 43 seconds in 2022, and this time to 2 hours 10 minutes. It shortened his record by more than 5 minutes in 4 years. Above all, except for Joo-Han Oh (35, Cheongyang-gun), who was naturalized from Kenya, it was the first time in 12 years since Jeong Jin-hyeok (스포츠토토2:09:28) in 2011 that a Korean male athlete set a time of 2:10.
Park Min-ho, who we met on the 3rd in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do, where the team is located, said, “The first goal we face is to win a medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September.” Park Min-ho, who virtually won a ticket to the Hangzhou Asian Games this season with the best record in Korea this season, is determined to win a marathon medal at the Asian Games, which Kolon coach Ji Young-joon (42), who is coaching him, won the gold medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. all.
Park Min-ho, who said, “13 years ago, when I was in the 6th grade of elementary school, saw coach Ji win the Guangzhou Asian Games, started the marathon.” Coach Ji is the main character who revitalized the stagnant Korean marathon by winning the gold medal in the marathon at the Asian Games, which had been interrupted after four consecutive gold medals won by Kim Won-tak (1990), Hwang Yeong-jo (1994), and Lee Bong-ju (1998, 2002). . Coach Ji said, “Park Min-ho saved a small spark in the Korean marathon by setting a record of 2 hours and 10 minutes in a long time. In the meantime, the Korean marathon world was in a rather pessimistic mood, but through Park Min-ho, I saw hope that ‘I can do it’. I hope he won a medal in the Asian Games as well, showing that the Korean marathon is not dead.”
Park Min-ho was confident that he would break the Korean men’s marathon record (2:07:20), which had been impregnable for more than 23 years since Lee Bong-ju set it in 2000. He said, “I am going through all the training with the goal of 2 hours and 6 minutes.” It aims to pass the standard record (2 hours 8 minutes 10 seconds) for participation in the 2024 Paris Olympics by early next year, and will step by step challenge Korea’s best record. Park Min-ho, who maintains a height of 170 cm and a weight of 53 kg, said, “Everything I cared about and managed at first became a daily routine once the goal (breaking the Korean record) became firm. In the past, if I held back the things I wanted to eat and didn’t eat, now I don’t even want to eat at all.”
Park Min-ho’s speed and endurance improved significantly after his team recruited Kenyan veteran marathon runner Isaac Kiplagat (39) as a training partner last year. Now, Park Min-ho, who has only been on the unemployment team for three years, is evaluated as a marathon runner who can enjoy his heyday for the next 10 years. Park Min-ho said, “I don’t think lightly about paying a lot of attention to a player like me. He vowed to become a player who sets an example for his juniors like seniors Hwang Young-jo, Lee Bong-ju, and Ji Young-jun.”