China’s First Highland Wetland International Marathon Kicks off in Shennongjia
Dajiuhu Lake, known as the most beautiful wetland in China, embraces the most stunning season in the golden October. The mountain covered by colorful trees and surrounded by the sparkling lakes form a landscape painting for the highland wetland.
2017 Shennongjia International Marathon ( referred to as “Shennongjia Marathon”) was held here on October 15, 2017, which attracted over 2000 runners from more than 10 countries, such as China, France, Italy, Norway, Russia, and Australia. The eldest runner was 71 years old and the youngest was 16 years old.
The event featured a male/female full marathon ( 42km) and a male/ female half marathon ( 21km). Chinese runners swept up the top spot three in the four races after fierce competition.
The rain, which lasted for more than ten days, suddenly stopped before the event. A thin layer of mist floated above the Dajiuhu Lake after the rain. The shadow of the clouds reflected in the water, closely followed the movement of waves.
Dajiuhu Lake, a world- renown wetland park, is located in the southwestern part of Shennongjia Forestry District and at the junction of Hubei Province and Chongqing. It covers an area of 5,083 hectares and the average altitude is 1,700 m. The
course of the Full/ Half Marathon and the Health Run stretch along the lake where runners enjoy the beautiful mountain views while running.
“Shennong Marathon track is featured with blue sky and fresh air. The high concentration of negative ions refreshes the runner’s mind and integrates the sport with the nature. It is absolutely the most awesome marathon track in China,” said judge Zhang Yi. He had been to Shennongjia five times, but he is still amazed every time he visits here.
“There are beautiful mountains, clean rivers, and fresh air here in Shenongjia. It’s so beautiful. The towns surrounded by mountains give us a pleasant feeling when we arrive at Dajiuhu Lake.” It’s the first time for Jeremy from France, Nicola Ballerini from Italy, Roar Galaaen from Norway, Maria from Russia, Thi Nguyen from Australia, and the other 14 athletes to come to Shennongjia. Thi Nguyen said, “It’s my second time running a marathon, but it’s my first time running a highland track. There are so many surprises here— I’m already in love with Shennongjia.”
The Health Run ends at the No. 4 lake Money Tree where runners were attracted by the information displayed on a screen “733,000 ions per cubic centimeter.” “It’s really amazing. The air I breathed was so fresh that I didn’t feel tired at all.”
“If we compare the human’s vital capacity to that of a car engine. The higher the concentration of oxygen in the blood, the larger the engine displacement and the stronger the power will be. So running in an environment with high negative ions will boost runners’ explosive strength and stamina.” Hu Bin, Deputy Director of Marathon Commission, Athletic Association of Hubei Province, illustrated the relation between negative ion and running by using the metaphor of car.
The runners were still indulgent in the beautiful view after the race. Comments such as “the most beautiful marathon I’ve ever run” were often heard among them. Actually, it’s also a test for the eco- marathon in Shennongjia, but there is no finishing line in the
marathon of green development.
Green is the base color of Shennongjia, and ecology is its lifeblood. Since Shennongjia Forestry District was formed in 1970, it has experienced four stages of development from extensive development to limited protection, exploration of transition, and green development. It has transformed from woodcutters to foresters, from a lumber economy to an ecological economy, from poverty- stricken areas to an ecotourism destination.
Shennongjia is now branded as a World Geo Park, with World Famous Mountain, the Most Beautiful Geo Park in China, the Most Beautiful Forest in China, and other titles. It’s the one and only place in China that wins the “triple crown” of registry in UNESECO’s Man and the Biosphere Program, and the honorary titles of World Geo Park and World Heritage.
The eco- marathon of Shennongjia will be promoted systematically under the scientific guidance by adhering to the principle of “Protection for development, conserving the environment for wealth, and leverage on the advantage of sound ecology” and following the rules of ecological conservation.
“The ecology conservation of Shennongjia is a marathon without finishing line. Being incorporated into the pilot program of ten national park systems, Shennongjia has a long way to go on environmental protection.” said Liu Shengce, Director of Administration of Culture, Sports, Press, Radio, Film, and Television of Shennongjia Forestry District. Photos by Party Propaganda Department of Shennongjia District)
张景霞 全马女子第一名Zhang Jingxia Female Winner in Full Marathon 伍玲 半马女子第一名Wu Ling Female Winner in Half Marathon 任文胜 全马男子第一名Ren Wensheng Male Winner in Full Marathon 喻桐 半马男子第一名Yu Tong
Male Winner in Half Marathon 外国选手，哥俩好Two Foreign runners 神马开跑The Shennongjia Marathon is Kicking off