A Scenic Marathon in Qian­jiang


Special Focus - - Contents - Ma Yalun, Wang Ben­lun, Xiang­shi Junzi & Su Zhuolin马亚伦王本伦向世俊子苏卓琳


The Qian­jiang Fan­wan Lake Wet­land In­ter­na­tional Marathon kicked off in Qian­jiang City of Hubei Prov­ince on April 21 of 2018. En­thu­si­as­tic run­ners, count­less vol­un­teers, strict traf­fic con­trol, ex­cit­ing on­look­ers and a lively award­ing cer­e­mony were just a few of the high­lights of the day. As alert par­tic­i­pants, we could strongly per­ceive how in­flu­en­tial the event was— and how it would sig­nif­i­cantly help to pro­mote Qian­jiang both at home and abroad, and how this event will con­trib­ute heav­ily to the de­vel­op­ment of Qian­jiang.

A Joint Ef­fort for a Suc­cess­ful Game

To pre­pare for the first marathon in the city, Qian­jiang spared no ef­fort to en­sure its suc­cess.

A quick on­line search will tell you a few facts about Qian­jiang: It oc­cu­pies an

2 area of 2004 km , with a pop­u­la­tion of a mil­lion, of which only about 200,000 to 300,000 peo­ple live in the ur­ban area. The marathon race was held within the city’s Fan­wan Lake Wet­land Park, al­most 20 km away from the down­town area.

Ac­com­mo­da­tions were a huge chal­lenge for the city. To avoid caus­ing in­con­ve­niences to par­tic­i­pants, or­ga­niz­ers and staff vis­ited over 300 ho­tels in ad­vance to find out their ca­pac­ity and check up on their fa­cil­i­ties. Un­qual­i­fied ho­tels were or­dered to make rec­ti­fi­ca­tions and up­grade their ser­vices. Start­ing on the morn­ing of April 20, run­ners be­gan to ar­rive in Qian­jiang from all over the world, and checked in ho­tels. At the end of the event, no com­plaints on ho­tel ser­vices were filed.

4月 21 日,“2018 潜江返湾湖湿地国际马拉松”在中国湖北省潜江市举行。过万跑友,无数安保人员,无数志愿者,热情的观众,紧张的竞争,激动人心的颁奖礼,所有这些似乎和别处的马拉松赛事没有太大区别。然而,作为带着思考的亲历者,在我们眼中,无论是对国内还是对国外,这次潜马都有着特殊的影响力,对潜江市的对外开放和国际化将起到巨大的推动作用,值得浓重记下一笔。



上网查一下就知道,潜江是个面积2004平方公里、人口仅百万的省直管市。以园林办事处为主体的主城区,人口也不过二三十万。这次马拉松的主赛场设在潜江市返湾湖国家湿地公园内,主会场离中心城区还有近20 公里。

接待压力是潜江面临的第一大难题。为了把赛事办好,不给参赛者造成不便,潜江市政相关部门,对全市 300多家宾馆酒店,进行接待能力调查统计,并对酒店和酒店客房存在的问题进行全面整改。从 20号上午开始,参赛选手陆续从四面八方赶到潜江,并顺利入住各自预订的酒店。直到赛事结束,没有一例抱怨住宿服务质量的投诉。

由于赛场离主城区还有一段距离,更因为交通管制,所有私家车辆不得进入赛场,赛事相关人员、参赛选手只能通过 400多辆大巴分批到达赛场。参赛选手和赛事相关工作人员共15000多人,相当一个军的兵力。这么多人要在 5 个小时内完成转移,其指挥和调度能力可见一斑。


No pri­vate ve­hi­cles were al­lowed to en­ter the race area for the sake of traf­fic safety. All par­tic­i­pants, staff, vol­un­teers, and run­ners could only take the of­fi­cial 400 buses to ar­rive at the start­ing line. More than 15,000 peo­ple had to be trans­ported and scat­tered into four di­rec­tions in 5 hours. What a tough task it is to co­or­di­nate and co­op­er­ate such a huge num­ber of peo­ple!

Yet, Qian­jiang did it. Soon af­ter check­ing into our ho­tel, we re­ceived mes­sages from the staff to in­form us where and when to get on the bus and the plate num­ber of the bus. At 3 am, we left the ho­tel for the gath­er­ing point. Traf­fic con­trol had al­ready started and po­lice of­fi­cers were busy co­or­di­nat­ing ve­hi­cles. On our way, we saw buses parked at dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions. There were about 8 buses where we were to gather. At 3: 30 am, the bus left on time with no de­lay. When we ar­rived, the place was a sea of peo­ple. We found out later that three groups of peo­ple had been trans­ported there be­fore we ar­rived.

We will never for­get that there was a pour­ing rain the morn­ing we left for the des­ti­na­tion. We found out later that the me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion had used cloud seed­ing in or­der for the event to be held at the best weather con­di­tions.

At about 6 am, we were in­formed that all run­ners had ar­rived and they should go to their des­ig­nated gath­er­ing points. The move­ment of over 15,000 peo­ple in an or­derly and er­ror­less man­ner was again achieved by Qian­jiang peo­ple.

Ev­ery­thing went as planned. The on­look­ers crowded in from towns and vil­lages to the site. CCTV and other me­dia were gath­ered at in­ter­view­ing points. I sud­denly re­called the af­ter­noon of Jan­uary 19, when the Hubei Provin­cial Govern­ment held the press con­fer­ence to an­nounce the marathon in Qian­jiang, the lead­ers of the city, on be­half of all Qian­jiang res­i­dents, had ex­pressed their ex­cite­ment about the event—“Fi­nally Qian­jiang peo­ple can run a marathon in their home­land.” They also promised to show­case Qian­jiang’s beauty to peo­ple around the world. “We in­vite ev­ery­one to run here, eat cray­fish, and ex­pe­ri­ence Qian­jiang!” The po­lice­men and se­cu­rity staff hadn’t been home for 2 days. The game fin­ished at 2:30 pm, so they didn’t even have

们集合地点、时间和车牌号等。凌晨 3点我们离开住地,向集合地点出发,这时,街上重要路段已经实行交通管制,警察不停地指挥着过往车辆。一路上,我们看到很多大型巴士,分停在不同的地方,我们集结的地方也有七八辆。三点半,大巴准点出发,一分钟也没耽搁。我们到达时,现场已是人头攒动。后来才知道,在我们之前,已经有三批人被运送到这里。



一切按计划顺利进行。观众也从各村各镇涌到赛场。中央电视台等各媒体记者们纷纷汇集到指定采访区域,从空中到地上,一切都进 入调式准备。写到这里,想到1 月19 日下午,在湖北省人民政府新闻发布厅举行的潜马发布会上,潜江市领导表达了全市人民的心声:潜江人终于能在家门口跑马拉松啦!同时承诺,“让全国乃至全世界人民看看我们潜江有多美!”“请参赛选手们跑马拉松、吃小龙虾,感受潜江风情,体验龙马精神!”警察和安保人员已经两天没回家,由于比赛2点半结束,他们甚至连中餐都来不及吃。



清晨,一阵暴雨过后,返湾湖湿地公园及其周边,主会场的音响打破四周的静谧,湖渠的水面映照着乌蒙蒙的云天,绵延数公里的水 杉在经历雨雾的洗礼之后,抖擞精神,准备迎接新的一天。灯前翻飞的蝙蝠不见了踪影,偶尔可以看到一群或三两只水鸟,从头顶飞过。返湾湖国家湿地公园具有历史意义的一天即将开始。




time for lunch.

This was the first time for Qian­jiang to host such an in­ter­na­tional sports event. The city had no ex­pe­ri­ence, but their con­fi­dence and spirit in con­fronting chal­lenges was pal­pa­ble. Ev­ery cit­i­zen played a part and all dif­fi­cul­ties were over­come. It was touch­ing how they col­lab­o­rated as one and achieved suc­cess.

The Beauty of Fan­wan Lake

Dawn came with a tor­ren­tial down­pour. The loud speaker at the site broke the si­lence of the morn­ing at Fan­wan Lake Wet­land Park. The lake re­flected the clouds in the sky. The red­woods were washed and stood re­freshed by the rain, wel­com­ing a new day. Bats dis­ap­peared while birds surfed the sky. A his­tor­i­cal day for Fan­wan Lake Wet­land Park was un­veiled.

The marathon site was an ocean of col­ors: the flags, the rain­bow walk­ing path, the red­woods, the river­banks, the on­look­ers, the per­for­mances, the run­ners in cos­tumes, the vol­un­teers in their own out­fits, and the se­cu­rity staff… CCTV broad­casted the event live to a world­wide au­di­ence of marathon lovers.

Qian­jiang is named af­ter the river it is on and is known for its lakes. The river and lakes in­ter­sect each other, and beautiful wa­ter views await at ev­ery cor­ner. Fan­wan Lake is the most fa­mous and rep­re­sen­ta­tive among all the lakes in Qian­jiang.

About six years ago, I cov­ered a re­port on Fan­wan Lake. I re­mem­bered there was an is­land in the mid­dle of the lake, above which, a pav­il­ion stood. It was a fairy­land. My daugh­ter heard about the wild wa­ter chestnuts grow­ing in the lake and in­sisted on pick­ing them up with tree branches. Birds, most of them white mixed with some grey, as well as brown and black ones, flew through reeds, oc­ca­sion­ally mak­ing stops on top of the reeds. Such grace and free­dom made us jeal­ous. On sum­mer days, end­less lo­tus leaves were like a huge green car­pet link­ing the lake to the sky, and lo­tus flow­ers in sun­shine are typ­i­cally beautiful. I could see the view vividly through my mind’s eye.

Friends told me Fan­wan Lake was no longer the same as be­fore. A few decades ago, lo­cals started fill­ing up the lake in or­der to cre­ate more farm­lands. The

2 lake once shrank to about 5 km . How­ever, in re­cent years, the Qian­jiang Mu­nic­i­pal Govern­ment has ad­hered to the prin­ci­ple of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and has given pri­or­ity to the pro­tec­tion and restora­tion of its wet­lands. The Fan­wan Lake restora­tion projects have been car­ried out— some farm­lands were re­stored to lake, fish­er­men’s houses were re­lo­cated, and fish­ing nets were


朋友介绍说,返湾湖大变样了。上世纪,由于大面积围湖造田,返湾湖面积曾一度缩小到 7000 亩。近些年,潜江市坚持绿色环保的发展理念,高度重视湿地保护与修复,对返湾湖实施湿地生态修复工程,通过退田还湖、渔民搬迁、水上拆围等措施,扩大湿地面积到2万亩, 改进生态,鱼虾资源逐渐恢复,鸟类种群数量已增加到2万多只。去年,摄影爱好者还拍到世界极危动物青头潜鸭。


潜马更多的不同,要通过身临其境的人,用眼睛、鼻子、耳朵、舌尖甚至全身心去感受。参加潜马的人一定会有共同的感受,潜马之旅,不仅仅是运动之旅,更是文化 之旅、美食之旅、观光之旅和休闲之旅。


刚刚跑过或经历过汉马的人,跑潜马的感觉是特殊的。环境是最大的不同。这里的乡间赛道,两边都是绿树和田野;这里的空气更加纯净,富含负氧离子,还带着泥土的芬芳和鱼虾的腥味。一路清草野 花,让运动员心情舒畅,耐力倍增。会场主持人称这次马拉松为“绿色生态的马拉松”。



这次参加潜马的国际选手多来自肯尼亚、埃塞俄比亚、乌干达等非洲国家,他们几乎囊括本次比赛的男女前三。在问到他们对这个城 市的感觉时,他们几乎异口同声,潜江太美了,跑在这样的赛道上非常轻松。

希望读者看过报道后,会产生对潜江的向往,来这座水乡园林之城,感受 2500年大楚文化,嘬一回小龙虾,当然,还要到返湾湖国家湿地公园去观鸟、赏莲、吃螃蟹……

taken out. The area of wet­lands

2 was en­larged to 13 km . The Eco­log­i­cal sys­tem was also im­proved, with fish and shrimp species re- in­tro­duced, and over 20,000 birds of dif­fer­ent species re­turned. Last year, pho­tog­ra­phy lovers came here to shoot baer’s pochard, a crit­i­cally en­dan­gered type of duck.

Tast­ing Qian­jiang

The Qian­jiang Marathon was much more than just a sports match. Par­tic­i­pants had a full taste of it through their eyes, noses, ears, and tongues. The marathon was less a jour­ney of sports than a jour­ney of cul­ture, cui­sine, sight­see­ing, and leisure.

Co- or­ga­nized by the Chi­nese Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion and the CCTV Sports Chan­nel, and solo op­er­ated by Wis­dom Sports, the Qian­jiang Marathon was the first marathon race tak­ing place in a ru­ral wet­land. It was also the fifth event in a se­ries of “Run­ning China” events, af­ter the Wuhan Marathon.

Run­ners who had just par­tic­i­pated in the Wuhan Marathon would have had a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence in Qian­jiang. Here, the routes were vil­lage paths— dif­fer­ent from as­phalt roads. Along the route were green trees and fishy farm­lands. The air, full of oxy­gen and muddy odor, smelled more pure, which boosted

run­ners’ stamina. No doubt the host of the marathon could not help dub­bing it an “eco­log­i­cal marathon.”

A week ago, Kun­ming, the “City of Spring” in south­west­ern China, hosted the first event in the “Amaz­ing China Eco- Marathon Se­ries.” The Qian­jiang Fan­wan Lake Wet­land Marathon was the sec­ond one. The peo­ple of Qian­jiang were proud that they could par­al­lel Kun­ming, which is a to­ken of recog­ni­tion of Qian­jiang’s beauty across the coun­try.

As for tast­ing Qian­jiang, the cray­fish was the first op­tion. Af­ter stren­u­ous run­ning, run­ners met to­gether and or­dered cray­fish in dif­fer­ent cook­ing styles: stewed, stir fried, steamed… What a good life it was to eat the de­li­cious food with a cou­ple of drinks be­fore go­ing for a nice sleep. The next morn­ing, run­ners could pay a visit to Cao Yu Park and Cao Yu Mu­seum to learn more about Cao Yu, who is widely rec­og­nized as the Shake­speare of the East. Vis­i­tors could also learn about flower drum opera and shadow plays, in which Qian­jiang’s lo­cal cul­ture spe­cial­izes.

The for­eign run­ners in the Qian­jiang Marathon mostly came from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and other African coun­tries. They gar­nered the top three spots for both men and women. When we in­ter­viewed them about the event, they all said Qian­jiang was beautiful and that they en­joyed it very much.

I sin­cerely hope this re­port will arouse fur­ther cu­rios­ity about Qian­jiang on the parts of our read­ers. I in­vite all to visit this city of cray­fish, rice, and wa­ter gar­dens, to ex­pe­ri­ence a 2500 year- old cul­ture. So come watch birds, see lo­tus flow­ers, and eat crabs in Fan­wan Wet­land Park…

Wide-an­gle lens (Photo by Ma Yalun)

Ke­lai John Ekiru, male cham­pion in full marathon, af­ter cross­ing the fin­ish line (Photo by He Dingke)全马男子第一克拉义冲过终点后百感交集(何定科摄)

Marathon run­ners (Photo by Ma Yalun)选手风采(马亚伦摄)

Fe­male cham­pion reach­ing the fin­ish line (Photo by He Dingke)女子冠军到达终点(何定科摄)

Cheer­ing on­look­ers ( Photo by Chen Mengyun)加油(陈孟云摄)

Nu­mer­ous ex­cit­ing on­look­ers (Photo by He Dingke)

Dragon dance (Photo by Su Zhuolin)

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