Beijing Marathon has new course

Updated: 2011-09-28 07:55

By Lei Lei (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The end has changed, but the road is still long.

The 2011 Beijing International Marathon will debut its new course on Oct 16.

While it will still begin at Tian'anmen Square, the 42.195km-course will finish at Celebration Square in the Central Zone of Beijing Olympic Park - the Landscape Avenue between the Bird's Nest and Water Cube in the northern part of the city - instead of the Beijing Olympic Sports Center Stadium.

About 8,500 whole-course participants will run through the Xicheng, Dongcheng, Haidian and Chaoyang districts. The other 21,500 contestants will participate in the half marathon, 9km marathon and 4.2km mini-marathon. The race will begin at 8 am.

Top professional runners include two-time world champion Catherine Ndereba of Kenya and her compatriot, Peter Kamais, the men's winner of the 2011 New York half-marathon.

For China's part, men's national champion Han Gang and 2006 Beijing Marathon women's winner Sun Weiwei will lead the team.

Sponsored by the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA), jointly organized by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports and CCTV and commercially operated by China Olympic Road Running (Beijing) Sport Management Co. Ltd, the race has been named an IAAF Gold Label Road Race for four consecutive years and enjoys equal distinction with the world renowned London and Berlin Marathon.

The largest and most-marketed CAA event, the annual marathon was first held in 1981 and has grown to become a significant international race. It will be held along with the National Marathon Championships and the 12th Capital University Marathon Challenge, which will attract top Chinese runners as well as students from colleges and universities in Beijing.

For the first time, the Beijing marathon, with the official partners of adidas and Canon, will have awards for amateur Chinese runners to encourage participation.

China Daily