When marathon meets Water Margin
The first Water Margin International Marathon is held in Dongping, a county-level city of Tai'an, Shandong province on May 6. [Photo/WeChat account: SDTXTA]
Considered as one of China's four great classics, Water Margin, (also known as Outlaws of the Marsh), depicts the 108 heroes of peasant uprisings.
One of the venues in the ancient Chinese vernacular novel, Dongping has a profound cultural connotation and historical heritages. The picturesque Dongping Lake is the only remaining lake mentioned in Water Margin.
The running route traversed some of the city's iconic landmarks and scenic spots, including the Dongping Water Margin Studio City, the Baifo Mountain, the Dongping Lake, a national-level wetland park and the city's museums and sports halls, offering a full picture of the city's modern facilities and fine scenery to the runners.
The event gathered about 2,400 runners from home and abroad, 792 in the full marathon (42.2 kilometers), 980 in the half (21.1 kilometers) and 600 for a short-distance happy run (13.8 km).
Bede, from Kenya, wins the men's first prize of the half marathon in Dongping on May 6. [Photo/my0538.com]
Monika of Kenya claimed the women's title for the half marathon in 1:18:55. She spoke highly of the Dongping Water Margin Studio City's antique flavor. She particularly liked the combination of beautiful scenery and native customs.
Chinese runner Li Shuyun won the championship of the women's full marathon in 3:7:33, four minutes faster than the runner-up from Kenya. Li is a full-time mother whose hobby is running. She was the only Chinese champion in this competition.
According to local officials, the event is designed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle and contribute to the public well-being through the power of running. It will also help raise the city's profile domestically and internationally and further local Water Margin culture and tourism.
Participants dressed up as figures from the novel Water Magin take lead in the running event in Dongping, a county-level city in Tai'an, Shandong province, May 6, 2018. [Photo/chinanews.com]