Nighttime marathon delights thousands of runners
International footrace draws competitors from countries around the world to enjoy Liaoning capital’s city lights and scenery
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.
Runners celebrate at the nighttime marathon last year.