Marathon fever catches among local runners
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.
Shanghai runners have in recent years caught the marathon fever.