Changde Liuye Lake International Marathon
Marathon is a long-distance running race with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers, usually run as a road race. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, who reported the victory. Annually, more than 800 marathons are held throughout the world with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes as large marathons can have tens of thousands of participants.
On June 27th, 2016, Changde Liuye Lake International Marathon(Changde Marathon for short) was officially announced to establish cooperation relationship for consecutive five years with Wisdom Sports, the largest marathon operator in China. It is the second international marathon race held in Hunan Province, with the first being held in Changsha. As reported, there is a 34-kilometer asphalt running track with few turns, rises and falls around the attractive Liuye Lake that was considered qualified for marathon of international class after careful examination. The Liuye Lake covers a water area of around 21.8 m2, enjoying the great reputation as the treasure of Changde and Hunan. According to the official note, three marathons of different distances are set, i.e., Full Marathon (42.195 km), Half Marathon (21.0975 km) and Mini Marathon (approximately 5 km).
The First Changde Liuye Lake International Marathon in 2016
On November 19th, 2016, the First Changde Marathon kicked off in Changde Baima Lake Culture Park. It was estimated that more than 10 thousand players participated in the event from China, Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Ethiopia, etc. Over 30 were foreign players and players from Changde accounted for 43% in total. Moreover, Yang Yujie, the winner of Trampoline World Championship, Huang Xing and Yang Chao, the winners of Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, were also invited because they were born in Changde. The race was broadcast alive on CCTV Sports Channel.
Approximately two and half-hour later, the champion ran into sight drawing warm applause and cheers from the spectators. Through the fierce competition, Kipkoech RUTO from Kenya won the male Full Marathon in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 51 seconds while the female winner was Poliudina Viktoriia from Kyrgyzstan who used 2 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. As for the Half Marathon, Shi Jilin won the first prize of the men’s group in 1 hour, 9 minutes and 10 seconds while Lei Yanyan was crowned among the female participants in 1 hour, 34 minutes and 4 seconds.
The complete success of the First Changde Marathon gained recognition of Chinese Athletic Association and was highly appraised by people from all walks of life. In addition, Changde Marathon was also upgraded to IAAF Road Race Bronze Label in just one year.
The Second Changde Liuye Lake International Marathon in 2017
On November 26th, 2017, the Second Changde Marathon was held as scheduled by the Liuye Lake. This year, thousands of players coming from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, United States, German and China gathered together. The running track was further improved with no more than 10-meter altering in altitude, the most gentle professional marathon track all over the world. The event was sponsored by Chinese Athletic Association, Hunan Administration of Sports and the Changde City People’s Government. Audience who could not be there physically was able to watch the live broadcast on Pear Video.
At last, African athletes swept the champions of both male and female Full Marathon. What’s more, Abdi Asefa Kebede broke the men’s record of the event in 2 hour, 13 minutes and 58 seconds and Betelhem Haji Serb won the landslide victory of women’s group in 2 hours, 41 minutes and 34 seconds. As for the Half Marathon, Bonface Fundi Njiru from Kenya and Geremew Melkitu Workneh from Ethiopia snatched the men’s and women’s titles respectively.
Considering the cold weather and lake breeze, the organizing committee has prepared blankets, warm water and ginger tea along the track for players to keep up their body temperature. Besides, there were about 4,000 people on call to provide service at any time including over 600 medical volunteers, 1000 volunteers, 1610 security guards along with more than200 referees. And 21 medical care posts, 4 designated hospitals, 20 ambulances, 56 Automated External Defibrillators and 15 bicycles were on standby as rescue team in case of any emergency. Furthermore, there were even local artistic shows presenting throughout the journey, for instance, Changde Han Opera, High-tune and Flower-Drum Opera. Players and audience could not only appreciate the beauty of mountains and lakes, but also savor the splendid culture of Changde.