XIAMEN, China, Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2016 C&D Xiamen International Marathon was held in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen on January 2, 2016. Since its debut in 2003, this year's event was the 14th edition of the competition hosted and organized by the Chinese Athletic Association and the Xiamen Municipal Government and sponsored by CCTV and Xiamen Media Group. The event has become the largest and most influential marathon in China and been named a Gold Label Road Race by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for nine consecutive years, with the support of and guidance from the Chinese Athletic Association (CAA). Kalkaba Malboum, Vice President of IAAF and President of the Confederation of African Athletics, attended the opening ceremony and presented the Gold Label Road Race plaque to the Xiamen International Marathon Organizing Committee.
This year's competition consisted of two events: the full marathon and the 5-km race. A roster of 48,642 athletes from 45 countries and regions participated in the competition, including 27,816 who ran the full marathon, 18,826 who chose the 5-km race and 2,000 who opted for the "Green Running" race. Among the 27,816 marathon runners, 8,826 were locals while 18,990 were "out-of-towners," indicating that the Xiamen International Marathon appeals to runners from all across China.
At 8 a.m., the starting shot was fired. Vincent Kipruto from Kenya won the men's title and Worknesh Edesa from Ethiopia won the women's title in the full marathon event. Kipruto clocked in at 2 hours, 10 minutes and 18 seconds, beating Shura Kitata from Ethiopia by 2 seconds. However, he had to settle for only $25,000 in prize money, rather than the full $40,000, as his finishing time did not reach the minimum performance standard of 2 hours and 9 minutes as set by the rules for the competition.
Runners from Ethiopia were the biggest winners as a whole, with six of the top eight coming from the country. The top three in the women's race were all from Ethiopia. Edesa clocked in at 2 hours, 24 minutes and 4 seconds, ahead of the minimum performance standard of 2 hours and 27 minutes, earning her the full $40,000 in prize money.
One of the world's most beautiful courses, adjusted this year to include a longer stretch with a view of the ocean
The Xiamen International Marathon course has been called one of the most beautiful courses in the world. Running along Huandao Road, which follows the contour of Xiamen Island, marathoners can see Jinmen Island in the distance during certain segments of the course. This year's events included the Full Marathon, the Cross-Strait Invitational Marathon Tournament and the 5km Healthy Run. The course included the crossing of the Yanwu Bridge, the bridge closest to sea level in the entire world. While traversing the bridge, which is quite near to Xiamen University, runners are treated to a spectacular view of Gulangyu Island. The bridge is famous for its elegant design and pleasant scenery, allowing runners to enjoy the unique charm and vitality that is Xiamen.
Build the brand and increase the value of the competition
This year's event was themed "Just Run and Love", while several smaller events were held as part of the larger marathon event including the C&D Green Running in Action, the China Construction Bank Cup Photo Contest and the EZON Intelligent Xiamen International Marathon.
The C&D Green Running in Action charity race, continuing the tradition of "green running", asks the families participating in the race to collect any trash that is found along the course. The race is supported by a Green Running in Action crowdfunding page. For each "like" click, the organizing committee of the event denotes a sand binder to the China Green Foundation's Million Forest project, until the goal of 20,000 sand binders is reached. After the race, the organizing committee selects pioneering families from the 1,000 families that are willing and has them plant the sand binders in Love Wood near the location of the larger Marathon. The message intended by this form of prize-giving is to spread the environmental concept of "Leave Beauty, Not Trash" to every corner of daily life, along with the spirit of marathon.
The Xiamen Expo was also held during the marathon event, the participants of which interacted with runners in multiple ways and successfully improved the awareness and reputation of the marathon event.
The 2016 C&D Xiamen International Marathon, the first major event in Xiamen in celebration of the New Year, has come to a successful conclusion. Looking forward to next year, the organizing committee plans to further improve the competition in terms of security, promotion and international influence, complying with the standards of an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, to make the event one of the world's grand sporting events as well as a festive event for local residents, a calling card for Xiamen, a bridge for cooperation and exchange and a platform for business exhibition.
SOURCE Xiamen International Marathon Organizing Committee Market Development