Winners are born, Champions are made. The Xi’an International Marathon 2018, also known as the most influential marathon in Western China, concluded with two outstanding runners from both the men’s and women’s category. Liyew Kebede of Ethiopia and Bayartsogt Munkhzaya of Mongolia were both the champions that dominated the men’s and women’s divisions respectively. Additionally, the top Chinese runner was Chen Lin, who placed third place in the women’s race with a timing of 2:40:36.
The running route started off from the ancient Yongning Gate Square of the Ming Great Wall and followed a route highlighting the antiquity and vibrancy of the 3,000-year-old city. The course was designed to integrate history and modernity, with 23 cultural stations set up along the route, where traditional culture merged with modern. Some examples would be international elements such as African tambourines, modern dance, and Rap-Rock ensembles.
Discount tickets were also issued to all marathoners including a visit to Daming Place National Museum Park, Qujiang Polar Ocean Park, the Shaanxi History Museum and the Forest of Stone Steles Museum.
Shangguan Jiqing, Mayor of Xi’an said:
Running has become a wildly popular sport in China and we are very excited that the route was able to give participants, spectators, and those watching on TV the chance to glimpse some of our ancient city’s most cherished historic relics. We are proud to be a city where antiquity and modernity exist side-by-side.
Xi’an International Marathon 2018 was the stepping stone for the growth of running communities in China and Worldwide. 30 different countries and regions including China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and South Korea, were already invited to this rising occasion, increasing participation rate by 10,000 from last year.
Therefore, its importance on the global racing circuit has helped it attract sponsorships from top brands such as Chinese real estate giant YanGo and sports apparel maker ASICS.