April 9th, despite torrential rain pouring from the thundering sky，the Dongfeng – Renault Wuhan Marathon started off with a bang; it seemed like nothing could dampen the spirits of the 22,000 contestants, who having made their way to the Hubei Capital, had come ready to race and ready to party.
This was Wuhan’s second city-wide running event, with the races being divided into three different categories: Full-Marathon, Half-Marathon and a 13-kilometer race.
The route ran around Wuhan’s many lakes, rivers and parks with even some parts of the course snaking its way around the city’s major landmarks such as the Yellow Crane Tower, Han Street area, as well as many of Wuhan’s famous bridges. Notably, 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, which made today just that little bit more special for those who bounded across that might bridge. This year’s route was slightly different the last, with the wonderful addition of the East Lake Greenway; a true testament to Wuhan’s green development direction.
With the city captivated by “marathon-fever”‘ after last year’s event, applications for this year’s race skyrocketed, with applicants exceeding the total participant capacity by 3:1! The 22,000 people lucky enough to be running today were picked at random from the applicant the monumental applicant list.
However it wasn’t just the Wuhan locals who were competing for the chance to run, this year Wuhan hosted 171 amateur runners from 22 different countries, including; USA, France, Britain, Australia and Japan, just to name a few.
The Wuhan marathon was also delighted to welcome back one of last year’s special guests, Mr. Orlando Edwards, the cultural and education consul of British consulate general in Wuhan.
In addition to the amateur runners, 20 specially-invited elite athletes competed in this year’s Wuhan Marathon, with representatives from Kenya, Ethiopia, Bahrain and Ukraine.
There was also be special prizes for any of the home grown talent who were able to break the Wuhan Marathon Record; an incentive which hoped to encourage more Chinese nationals to enter the competition.
According to the organizing committee, the top 200 of the 6,000 competitors in the 42-km event will have direct access to 2017 Beijing Marathon.
This year’s Wuhan Marathon champion was Morroco’s Boudad Zakaria who ran a time of 2 hours 13minutes and 43seconds. Whilst the women’s number one was Ethiopia’ Egitagyuehu Mengitsu.