Great turnout for first half marathon of spring

March 25, 2024 |

Despite the early morning fog, some 7,000 runners set off on a 21-kilometer journey from the Grand Ocean 1000 Trees in Putuo District on the Shanghai Suzhou Creek Half Marathon.

It is the city's first half marathon in spring.

Up from last year's 4,000 runners, the competition invited elite runners from overseas, who topped both the men's and women's times.

Chinese runners also put on promising performances.

Ethiopia's Tadele Demissie Yimer became the first male runner to cross the finish line at Suzhou Creek Half Marathon Park, clocking 1:02:53. He was followed by Chinese runner Ma Rui (1:04:21) and compatriot Chala Lelisa Debele (1:07:37).

The women's crown went to Enatnesh Wallelign Tadesse, also from Ethiopia, who completed the race in 1:15:17. She was followed by compatriot Agrie Belachew Wole (1:16:02) and Chinese runner Tang Tingwan (1:19:11).

Chinese Super League team Shanghai Port's manager Kevin Muscat also registered for the race, and completed the distance in about 1 hour and 42 minutes.

Despite working and living in Australia, Europe and Japan, the Australian said the Shanghai event was his debut marathon.

"I must say this is a very pleasant way to experience Shanghai, with so many people together in an early morning," said Muscat. "Never in my life I have run 20 kilometers … I need a big lunch!"
According to the organizers, 98.67 percent runners managed to complete the race. The top 150 male and top 100 female runners gain a place in the Shanghai Marathon later this year.

Twenty-one medical sites and 15 ambulances were arranged along the route to assure runners' safety. And 875 volunteers were on hand to help runners.