Night­time marathon de­lights thou­sands of run­ners

In­ter­na­tional footrace draws com­peti­tors from coun­tries around the world to en­joy Liaon­ing cap­i­tal’s city lights and scenery

China Daily European Weekly - - LIFE - By HAO NAN hao­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Shenyang, cap­i­tal of Liaon­ing prov­ince, is home to many of China’s firsts, such as the na­tion’s first com­mer­cial pedes­trian street and the first build­ing over 300 me­ters high. Last year, the city added a new en­try to the list: China’s first night­time marathon.

The 2016 Shenyang In­ter­na­tional Marathon, held on Sept 10, at­tracted 15,000 pro­fes­sional run­ners and en­thu­si­asts from 28 coun­tries and re­gions, in­clud­ing China, Canada, Rus­sia, Ja­pan and Aus­tralia.

It kicked off at 5 pm and ended at 11 pm, which en­abled par­tic­i­pants to en­joy Shenyang’s beau­ti­ful evening scenery.

The event com­prised four com­pe­ti­tions: a full marathon, a half­marathon, a mini-marathon and a 10-kilo­me­ter race. The or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee also in­no­vated sev­eral en­ter­tain­ment ac­tiv­i­ties to at­tract more par­tic­i­pants, such as cos­play run­ning, fam­ily run­ning and couples run­ning.

Light­ing fa­cil­i­ties and flu­o­res­cent props were set up along the route to en­sure run­ners’ safety. More than 16,000 lo­cal po­lice and traf­fic po­lice of­fi­cers, as well as nearly 200 doc­tors and nurses from 14 hos­pi­tals made im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tions to en­sur­ing the event ran smoothly.

Peris Jep­ko­rir and Den­nis Chep­kon­gin Ma­sai, both from Kenya, won cham­pi­onships in the women’s and men’s full marathon, re­spec­tively.

Ma­sai said he had taken part in marathon com­pe­ti­tions in China many times, but never ran in the evening.

“It was a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence and Shenyang had at­trac­tive night scenery, which was as beau­ti­ful as its day­time scenery,” he said.

It was also the first time for the event’s two of­fi­cial lead run­ners to run at night — Sun Dongxu, who has par­tic­i­pated in more than 100 marathons world­wide, and Sun Zhiqiang, a se­nior run­ner of half-marathons.

Zhang Yong­mei, a par­tic­i­pant from Chaoyang, Liaon­ing, said she used to fo­cus on run­ning dur­ing pre­vi­ous marathon com­pe­ti­tions, but this time could not help but pay more at­ten­tion to the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment as Shenyang be­came so dreamy against the daz­zling evening lights.

JIANG MENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Run­ners cel­e­brate at the night­time marathon last year.

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