Marathon runners challenged by extreme heat

Ma Yue
38,000 runners from 85 countries and regions beat the heat at the Shanghai International Marathon on Sunday.
Ma Yue
Marathon runners challenged by extreme heat
Dong Jun / SHINE

Shanghai International Marathon runners start their journey from the Bund at 7am.

Marathon runners challenged by extreme heat
Dong Jun / SHINE
Marathon runners challenged by extreme heat
Dong Jun / SHINE

Thirty-eight thousand runners from 85 countries and regions beat the heat to challenge their physical limits as the 2019 Shanghai International Marathon began at 7am on Sunday from the Bund.

About 25,000 took part in the 42.2-kilometer full marathon, while 6,000 were featured in the 10km race and another 7,000 in the 5.5km run.

Paul Kipchumba Lonyangata from Kenya became the first male runner to cross the finish line of the full marathon at Shanghai Stadium, clocking 2:08:11. Lonyangata was also the champion of the Shanghai event back in 2015. He was followed by Bahrain’s El Hassan El Abbassi (2:08:58) and Ethiopia’s Limenih Getachew Yizengaw (2:09:14).

The top three women finishers were all from Ethiopia: Yebrgual Melese Arage (2:23:19), Waganesh Mekasha Amare (2:25:37) and Obse Abdeta Deme (2:27:47). Arage created the women’s record of 2:20:37 for Shanghai International Marathon last year in a comparatively more pleasant weather condition last November.

“The weather today is quite hot,” said Yang Dinghong, the first Chinese male runner to finish the full marathon in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 21 seconds. “But the back-up supply by the organizers was quite good. It shall not be a problem (to finish the race) as long as you adjust your mentality and adapt to the conditions.”

Li Zhixuan was the first Chinese female runner to complete the full marathon in 2 hours, 33 minutes and 5 seconds.

Marathon runners challenged by extreme heat
Dong Jun / SHINE

Li Zhixuan was the first Chinese female runner to complete the full marathon.

Sunday’s highest temperature reached 25 degrees Celsius, and it’s even hotter under the sun. There were eight water spraying points along the route, four ice stations, as well as water and food every five kilometers.

Marathon runners challenged by extreme heat
Dong Jun / SHINE
Marathon runners challenged by extreme heat
Dong Jun / SHINE

The races also involved visually impaired runners who ran in the company of their guides, as well as a 20-member wheelchair team. Some 5,000 volunteers and 310 referees provided service for the event.

Earlier on Saturday, a KFC Family Run was held at Shanghai Luwan Stadium as a warm-up for the Sunday races, attracting over 500 hundred families.

“A marathon is more than a one-day event,” said Zhou Jin, general manager of organizer, Shanghai Donghao Lansheng Event Management Company. “We organized other activities like the family run to create a sporty atmosphere for the city over weekend.”

Marathon runners challenged by extreme heat
Dong Jun / SHINE

Street cleaners wait beside the starting line on the Bund.

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