XI'AN China, Oct. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2018 Xi'an International Marathon ("the Marathon"), the most influential marathon in Western China, has crowned Liyew Kebede of Ethiopia and Bayartsogt Munkhzaya of Mongolia as winners of the men's and women's divisions respectively, atop a field of 30,000 world-class athletes who took 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 top Chinese runner, Chen Lin, placed third in the women's race, finishing in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 36 seconds.
The Marathon, in its second year, embodies the growing popularity of running in China and worldwide. The number of participants, who hailed from 30 countries and regions including China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and South Korea, increased by 10,000 from last year, while the number of applicants almost doubled. 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.
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."
The race course was designed to integrate history and modernity, with 23 cultural stations scattered along the route, where traditional culture merged with modern, international elements such as African tambourines, modern dance, and Rap-Rock ensembles. In addition, all marathoners were eligible for free or discounted tickets to 22 cultural attractions in Xi'an, including Daming Place National Museum Park, Qujiang Polar Ocean Park, the Shaanxi History Museum and the Forest of Stone Steles Museum.
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About the Xi'an International Marathon
The Xi'an International Marathon, sponsored by YanGo, is the most influential marathon in Western China. The event, which features full, half and mini-marathons, all with men's and women's divisions, is held in Xi'an, capital of China's western Shaanxi province, an international tourist destination with over 3,000 years of history and world-renowned attractions such as the Terracotta Warriors and Horses and its ancient City Wall.
SOURCE Xi'an International Marathon