Only 9,000 runners at this year’s marathon – SHINE News – SHINE

Only 9,000 runners at this year’s marathon – SHINE News  SHINE

The 2020 Shanghai Marathon will take place on November 29, organizers announced on Wednesday.

The annual event will be scaled down from last year’s 38,000 runners to 9,000 in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak. The 10-kilometer and 5.5km races have been canceled and the 9,000 runners will be running the full 42-kilometer distance.

There will be no international runners, or runners from high-risk areas, this year. The event has also altered its route with the finishing line at the riverside West Bund Art Center in Xuhui District instead of Shanghai Stadium.

Dong Jun / SHINE

The launch ceremony for the 2020 Shanghai Marathon was held on Wednesday.

The race will start at 7am from the Bund. Runners will be divided into three groups and start their journey some minutes apart to avoid crowding. The starting area has a space of about 15,000 square meters and runners will be able to keep a 1-meter distance from each other before the race begins.

The new route will make its first turning at Xinkaihe Road instead of the narrower Jinling Road East. Runners will go past city landmarks that include the pedestrian street on Nanjing Road E, People’s Square, Jing’an Temple and Longhua Temple before reaching the riverside art center.

All participants, including front-tier staff, will have to hand in nucleic acid test reports within seven days ahead of the event. Runners will have their identity cards, temperatures and health codes checked before the race.

“I’m happy that the Shanghai Marathon can go on this year under the impact of the pandemic,” said Dr Zhang Wenhong, a leading expert in Shanghai’s fight against the coronavirus.

“I know that Shanghai’s virus-fighting departments have already made preparations and got the city ready for the event. It’s an encouragement for citizens as well as a recognition of our pandemic-fight efforts,” Zhang said.

“Participants are still reminded to keep a safe distance from each other and avoid gathering during the event,” he added. “I’m expecting more sports activities to be held around the city while participants follow anti-pandemic requirements.”

Dong Jun / SHINE

Models wearing the T-shirts for this year’s event.

A total of nine food and drink supply stations will be set along the closed track. Spectator zones have been canceled.

Organizers said plans were in place if participants exhibited symptoms during the event. They would be taken to a quarantined area and organizers would take measures that include canceling the race if necessary.

Registration has already started and will last till 5pm on Saturday. The 9,000 quotas will be distributed through a draw and the results will be announced on October 27. The entry fee is 100 yuan (US$13) for each runner.

The prize money has been set at 150,000 yuan for the winner, and 100,000 and 80,000 yuan for the second and third finishers, respectively.

Considering the shrunken scale, the organizers introduced a “Shanghai Virtual Run” this year. Runners who fail to get entry to the marathon can take part in the event through an online form – to complete the distance on any other track and have the procedure recorded through designated app.

The organizers will select 100 virtual run participants and award them with quotas for next year’s Shanghai Marathon.