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North Korea Americans Run Pyongyang Marathon ... But First Bow to Our Leader!

4/14/2016 12:45 AM PDT

North Korea: Americans Run Pyongyang Marathon ... But First Bow to Our Leader!


Despite nuclear tensions, a group of American runners traveled to North Korea this past weekend to compete in the Pyongyang marathon ... and TMZ Sports has the incredible footage.  

It all went down on Saturday -- when 1,000 foreign runners from all over the world gathered in front of roughly 70,000 people at Rungrado 1st of May Stadium ... the largest stadium in the world. 

One of those people was Brian Sloan -- an American entrepreneur who created the Autoblow sex toy (don't pretend like you don't know what it is). 

Sloan says entry into NK was as complicated as you'd expect -- with military people thoroughly inspecting his belongings ... especially electronics. 

"It was noted exactly how many cameras and memory cards we brought in."

When his group finally entered the country, they were taken to 2 giant statues of Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-Sung ... and were strongly advised to lay flowers at the base and bow to show respect. 

As for the race, the runners were treated like Olympians ... with a massive opening ceremony and a cheering crowd.  

The event -- which included a full and half marathon -- was given a strict time limit ... if you didn't finish in less than 4 hours, you're S.O.L. because they shut the whole event down.  

In the end, Sloan says he didn't feel threatened at all ... and claims North Korea is definitely not as scary as it appears in the media. 

"All of the Koreans I met there treated all of the tourists with respect and only expected to be respected in return, regardless of their nationalities."

And in case you're a fan of massive coordinated dance parties ... check out this one that broke out in the middle of Pyongyang. Good times ... 

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