Marathon fever catches among lo­cal run­ners

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

Al­though the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Marathon has in­creased its par­tic­i­pa­tion limit to 35,000 from 5,000 since its in­cep­tion in 1996, there is still a mas­sive num­ber of peo­ple who are un­able to join the event.

Marathon or­ga­niz­ers said that they re­ceived a to­tal of 126,789 ap­pli­ca­tions for the 2015 event on Nov 8, though the over­sub­scrip­tion in 2014 was very much higher — Labour Daily re­ported that the 18,000 va­can­cies for the marathon and half marathon at­tracted more than 2.3 mil­lion ap­pli­cants in 2015. The event is di­vided into four run­ning cat­e­gories — marathon, half marathon, 10 kilo­me­ters and ex­er­cise.

The Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Marathon wel­comed its 20th an­niver­sary in 2015. The or­ga­nizer had launched a sep­a­rate half-marathon event in Shang­hai in May 2015, making the city the na­tion’s only lo­ca­tion to have both marathon and half-marathon events.

For­mer Olympic hur­dles cham­pion Liu Xiang took part in the 10 km race in 2015 and he said that he was plan­ning to com­plete in the half marathon seg­ment the next time round. The 31-year-old Shang­hai-born ath­lete an­nounced his re­tire­ment ear­lier in April.

There were 56 marathons held across China in 2015 and it was re­ported that rev­enue gen­er­ated through such events reached 2 bil­lion yuan in 2014. In­dus­try ex­perts ex­pect this fig­ure to ex­ceed 10 bil­lion yuan ($310 mil­lion) in 2015, while marathon-re­lated in­dus­tries could reap rev­enues of 30 bil­lion yuan, re­ported Nan­fang Daily.

CHINA DAILY LAI XINLIN FOR

Shang­hai run­ners have in re­cent years caught the marathon fever.

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