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1st Changning Half Marathon Kicks off
11/28/2017 Shanghai Observer

At 7:30 on November 26, 2017, the first Changning International Half Marathon of 2017 officially kicked off with the starting gun. The competition included the two parts of “Half Marathon” and “Fitness Run”, starting from Zhongshan Park and ending respectively at Yan'an High School on the Maotai Road and Hongqiao Riverside Park on Changning Road. There were about 4,800 runners participating in the competition. Firing the starting gun for the race were Xu Bin, director of Shanghai Administration of Sport, Wang Weiren, Party chief of Changning District, Gu Honghui, governor of Changning District, and famous gymnast Li Xiaopeng.


More than 20 long-distance runners from the four countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia participated in the event at the invitation. Eventually, Difas Kibet from Uganda won the champion at 1:04:11 after finishing his first experience in a Shanghai Marathon-related event. Serser Alice Cherotich Milgo, from Kenya, snatched the championship in the women's group with a result of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 40 seconds. Ge Jing from China ended with the first place in the public men’s group with 1 hour, 10 minutes and 50 seconds. The first place winner Zheng Zhiling in the women’s public group finished the competition with 1 hour, 13 minutes and 42 seconds, and she was also the second place among all the women runners.


The Changning International Half Marathon started from Zhongshan Park with the landmark roads in Changing such as Changning Road, West Tianshan Road, West Xianxia Road, Hami Road, Honggu Road and Weining Road on the courses. Specifically, Changning Road, the main section of the course, is an east-west traffic artery in Changning District as well as part of the "Northern Horizontal Road" in the three horizontal and three vertical main roads in Shanghai.


According to the sources, from April 12 until November 20 this year, Changning District carried out overhaul in the 11 sections of the 7 roads on the competition course including Changning Road, North Guangshun Road, Songhong Road, Fuquan Road, Suining Road, Maotai Road and Jinbang Road, with the maintenance and remediation area reaching 104,200 square meters.


The Northern Horizontal Road Command halted the construction from November 20 to 26, cleaning and fixing the guardrails along the roads. Starting on November 20, concentrated improvement was conducted at the intersection of Beizhai Road and Pingtang Road and the section of Weining Road – North Pusong Road in the construction area of the Northern Horizontal Road, with an area of about 7,000 square meters improved so as to ensure the safety of the runners.


At the races on the say there were 3 medical stations, 7 medical aid posts, 8 medical ambulances for protection throughout the race, and 110 medical support personnel deployed along the courses to provide medical assistance services for the runners with no delay. In addition, supplying the services and protection to the runners at the races were also 624 volunteers, 70 referees, 852 police officers and 1,120 security personnel, including 44 volunteers of foreign languages. The drinking water stations were set every 5 kilometers starting from the 5-kilometer spot as well as from the 7.5-kilometer spot, and there was a supply station at the 15-kilometer spot, so as to provide the runners with comprehensive services and protection.


According to the sources, in just a few days the competition completed the recruitment of all 580 volunteers, including 248 from the passenger cabin department, the security department, flying cadets, the ground service department, the maintenance engineering department, the operation and control center and other departments of the district-based Spring Airlines as well as the accounting department, the Hong Kong and Macao division, the domestic division, the Europe and America division, the marketing department, the business travel department, the Asia-Pacific division and other departments of Spring Travel Service. Also joining in were 250 volunteers from Donghua University, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, East China University of Political Science and Law and other universities as well as Bosch China and Bando Shanghai.


Changning District is home to 28 consular offices in Shanghai and about 90,000 expats from 150 countries and regions. In this event, in addition to the outstanding foreign athletes invited in accordance with the practice at the international professional events, the invitation for participation was also issued to the sister districts of Changning and the consular agencies in Shanghai. The two sister districts of Changning, namely, the eighth district of Budapest, Hungary, and the first district of Prague, Czech Republic, dispatched their teams to participate in the competition. Besides, more than 90 foreign friends in the consulates in Shanghai also took part in the races at the invitation.


Before the competition the reporter met three participants in the 3-kilometer “Fitness Run” from Consulate General of Thailand in Shanghai. Lu Yawen, culture consul at the consulate, said that in the past two years in China, it was the first time for them to participate in a long-distance race in Shanghai and the consul general would also run in the race. Although the race was only 3 kilometers, they had made full preparations for a week, hoping to try their best to complete the race.


It is learnt that in the event the top 400 male runners and 200 female runners would win the qualification for the half marathon race at the 2018 Shanghai International Marathon, and every runner would receive the points for the Shanghai Marathon.


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