Urumqi to host winter marathons
An ice and snow marathon will be held in Urumqi, Xinjiang autonomous region, on Jan 1 next year, according to the regional sports administration.
The competition, the 2017 Urumqi Silk Road Ice and Snow Marathon, will be held in the city’s Tianshan Grand Canyon. It will consist of four events: a full marathon of 42.2 kilometers; a half marathon of 21.1 km; a mini marathon of 10 km; and a parentchild run of 3 km.
The administration said it expects 3,000 domestic and overseas runners to register for the competition, with a prize of 30,000 yuan ($4,300) to be awarded to the winner of the full marathon.
So far, more than 1,100 people have registered for the full and half marathons, the largest number of participants for a domestic winter marathon in recent years, the administration said.
Among the participants are more than 20 runners from foreign countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Sweden, Kenya, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan.
Zhang Jian, chair of the Urumqi Marathon Associa- tion, said ice and snow marathons in winter are prevalent all over the world, but they are still new in China.
Urumqi is rich in ice and snow resources of ice and snow, as well as skiing resorts and winter sports venues at international standards. By holding such a competition, more people from China and abroad will be attracted to the city to visit or to partake in sports and cultural events, Zhang said, adding that such events will greatly benefit the development of the city.