North Korea marathon
2013 competitors in International Association of Athletics Federations' 26th Mangyongdae Prize Marathon Reuters

It was not just London where runners took part in a marathon on Sunday - North Korean captial Pyongyang also hosted its annual event.

Although there was no sign of a running fridge in the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon, tens of thousands of North Koreans reportedly lined the city's streets to support participants, including, for the first time, amateur runners.

Officials said runners from 27 countries took part.

The run was part of a series of sporting, artistic and cultural events commemorating the birthday of the nation's founder, Kim Il-sung, on 15 April.

While the event was devoid of sponsors such as Virgin and Lucozade, runners and spectators in Pyongyang could at least enjoy the patriotic music pumping out of speakers.

Home favourite Pak Chol crossed the finish line first in 2:12:26 - eight minutes slower than London's winner Wilson Kipsang.

Pak Chol
North Korea's Pak Chol won the Pyongyang marathon

It was a clean sweep for the host nation as Kim Hye-gyong and twin sister, Kim Hye-song, finished first and second respectively in the women's race. the winner clocked up 2:27:04.

Her time was eclipsed by Edna Kiplagat, of Kenya, who ran the London marathon in 2:20:21.

Runners on the mostly flat Pyongyang course did four loops around the centre of the city of 2.5 million people, starting at a packed 42,000-capacity Kim Il Sung Stadium.