HENGSHUI, China, Oct. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- 2018 Hengshui Lake International Marathon kicked off at Hengshui Lake at 7:30 am on September 29. Rated as a national marathon event, the race had recently been upgraded to an IAAF silver label marathon, attracting 18,000 applicants and world leading runners from over 20 countries and regions, including Ethiopia, Kenya, New Zealand and Australia. Hayle Lemi Berhanu from Ethiopia won the male full-course competition when he clocked in at 2:08:51, while Amare Waganesh Mekasha, also from Ethiopia, took home the honors at the female full-course competition when she crossed the finish line at 2:25:57. In the half-course competitions, Sonam Tsering and Tian Meizhen were named the winner of their respective male and female competitions when they posted times of 1:07:00 and 1:31:33.
Among the Chinese entrants, Mikyo Nyima (male: 2:16:56) and Tsering Tsomo (female: 2:36:22), both from Tibet, were the best performers in their respective groups.
To create a positive atmosphere, the responsible municipal authorities started overhauling and upgrading the race courses over one month prior to the race, installing greenery and flora of all colors and hues alongside the tracks, giving the environment a fresh and inspiring look. Athletes had nothing but praise for the revamped courses. The courses and the beautiful scenery along the route heightened the experience for the runners, making the event particularly memorable.
This year's race also witnessed a massive upgrade in the range and quality of available services: 54 pacers and 47 medical runners served as escort runners, while post-race services, including the handing out of ice compresses and the installation of facilities for stretching at the finish line. Cheering stations with music were arranged to encourage athletes along the tracks. Two supporting charity events also gained much attention from the marathon runners. Many runners and spectators visited the "Bird Protection Wishing Wall", vowing to protect the ecological environment of the lake and surrounding area. The second feature was the "Environmental Protectors" who helped with collecting trash accumulated along the courses, winning the applause from all participants.
This year's event has received favorable commentary from both race participants and spectators alike for its professional, considerate, and well-executed services. The organizers will continue to strive to provide an excellent race environment for runners in the future.
SOURCE Hengshui Lake International Marathon Organizing Committee