Half marathon may be canceled

Shanghai International Marathon is considering canceling its 21-kilometer half marathon but isn't saying why it may do so. A final decision will be made next week.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Runners take part in the 2016 Shanghai International Marathon.

Shanghai International Marathon is considering canceling its 21-kilometer half marathon event this year — but isn't saying why.

If it does so, it will give all quotas for the annual half marathon, which had been scheduled for November 12, to the 42km full distance run, organizers said.

Though they did not unveil why they have considered canceling the half marathon, they did not deny that to allow the Shanghai event to join the World Marathon Majors in the future might be one factor. WMM only concentrates on full marathons.

Shanghai Donghao Lansheng Event Management Company, the organizer of the race, said it has handed in two plans to the city government to evaluate — one is to hold the half marathon on November 12; the other is to have it canceled.

"A final decision is expected to be announced on August 29," Li Li, an official with the company told Shanghai Daily. "A change in the quota means adjustments in route, security arrangement and all other aspects. The city government will evaluate the plans and decide," she added.

Last year's Shanghai International Marathon attracted a total of 38,000 participants.

The 42.2km full race featured 20,000 runners — 5,000 more than in 2015. Eight thousand runners took part in the 21km half marathon – the same number as 2015 but 2,000 less than 2014. The 10km and 5km races each drew 5,000 runners.

The annual event has been expanding its scale gradually with the increase of Shanghai's long-distance runners. The organizer said in earlier interviews that it had been increasing the quotas for the full marathon as Shanghai runners are becoming more and more professional.

The World Marathon Majors is the world’s largest marathon series, and is similar to the Grand Slam in tennis. Its six high-profile full marathon races including the Boston Marathon and the Olympic Games Marathon.

"To join WMM is just a consideration, which is not the biggest reason if we decide to cancel the half marathon this year," said Li.

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