The 2019 Dongfeng Nissan Chengdu Marathon, China’s first candidate for the Abbott World Marathon Majors (WMM), was held early morning October 27 with the participation of 30,000 runners from China and abroad running the marathon together. This year’s Chengdu Marathon weekend ran with the theme, “Universiade to Highest Standards, World Sports City of Highest Quality – Sports New Chengdu, Running to WMM.”
The Chengdu Marathon, co-organized by the Chinese Athletics Association and Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, was divided into four disciplines: Marathon, Half Marathon, Happy Run and Wheelchair Marathon. In the end, runners from Ethiopia took the tape: Wondesen Feleke Zegeye won the men’s race in 2:09:52, with fellow Ethiopians running 2nd and 3rd, while Yenenesh Tilahun Dinkesa took the women’s race in 2:29:05, followed by runners from Ethiopia and Kenya.
This year’s Chengdu Marathon appeared in the “Running China” Marathon series, co-organized by CCTV and the Chinese Athletics Association, with the CCTV Sports Channel providing a live broadcast beginning at 07:25 in the morning. Through the broadcast, audiences across the country gained not only an appreciation for Chengdu’s urban style and construction, but they felt the enthusiasm of Chengdu, from the Jinsha Site Museum start until the runners crossed the finishing line.
As a new force in the marathon world, the Chengdu Marathon has rapidly grown in stature since it was first run in 2017. It was named The Most Beautiful Track at the 2018 Chinese Athletics Association Special Event, and it has become a high-quality brand event in Chengdu. On May 14th, the Abbott World Marathon Majors, Chinese Athletics Association, Chengdu Municipal People’s Government and Wanda Group called a press conference in Beijing to announce Chengdu Marathon’s candidacy for the World Marathon Majors (WMM). This was China’s first WMM candidate marathon, attracting attention around the running world.
Building a ‘World Sports City’
Over the last three years, Chengdu has held 67 international and more than 160 national sports events. The World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) held this August further affirmed Chengdu’s ability to organize and host comprehensive sports events, while it served as the prelude to Chengdu’s ‘Three World Games’. The city will transition towards the 31st Summer Universiade in 2021, the World Table Tennis Championships in 2022 and the World Games in 2025.
In the same way, by setting up platforms for sports events that actively promote Chengdu as a ‘benchmark city’ with an ‘international business environment’, Chengdu has also actively put sports facilities together with event activities into scenic spots, set up information-resource platforms based on integration and sharing cultural exhibitions, travel consultation, events and activities to realize a resource integration that the city applies to management in culture, sports, tourism and business.
“To hold an event is the same as running a city,” said Luo Qiang, Deputy Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee, mayor and director of the Chengdu Preparatory Committee. Improving the service ability of the city is the prime support for the successful holding of large-scale sports events. We should persist in combining “competition planning” with “city planning”, coordinate the preparation of events and urban construction, promote the improvement of urban infrastructure and image enhancement, and increase the ability to host events with the service levels of the city.
As a project in which the citizens of Chengdu hold a high degree of satisfaction, the Chengdu Marathon continues to transform itself as an event. Chengdu Marathon is constantly revising its self-requirements as well as continuously upgrading per the high standards of WMM. Upgrading not only for the long-term, multi-year evaluation process conducted by the AbbottWMM, but rather in the bid to help Chengdu build a World Sports City.