To do it or not to do it, where is the weather vane for the restart of the marathon?

Text | Ma Lianhong

On October 27, before the first “Ultra Marathon Weekend” in 2022, the Chinese Athletics Association held a national road running event and event safety supervision work conference through online video and offline main venues. At the meeting, Shui Tao, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Athletics Association, made a speech on “Further Realizing and Doing the Safety Work of Running Event Organizations”. He said that according to the development of epidemic prevention and control, some localities plan to restart the marathon in November and later. and related road running sports events.


This news has sparked widespread heated discussions in the road running circle. On the one hand, the national road running events have been suspended and semi-suspended in the past three years, and the industry hopes to truly implement the “should be done” for the races announced earlier. The Hebei Baoding Marathon held on October 30 was announced to be cancelled. The Taiyuan Marathon and Wuxi Marathon, which were originally scheduled to be held on November 6, were successively announced to be postponed. The Changsha Marathon was converted to an online competition. Can the ‘ultramarathon weekend’ land safely?

The convening of the China Athletics Association working conference, as well as the 2022 Tonglu Half Marathon, Wuxi Taihu Women’s Half Marathon, and 2022 Beijing Marathon press conferences, which will start this weekend, will undoubtedly give the road running industry and the majority of runners a new lease of life. Added some hope.



Athletics Association: Safe restart of marathon events in November

November is the month when the marathon is held together, and it is also the last window of this year’s marathon. In early October, a number of marathons were announced to be held. From October 30th, major marathons began to be held together. More than ten road running events such as the Baoding Marathon and the Qufu Marathon are scheduled to start on this day. Only on November 6, the first weekend of November, there will be Beijing Marathon, Wuxi Marathon, Changsha Marathon, Taiyuan Marathon, Taishan Marathon, Dongying Marathon, Shanghai 10km Classic, etc. More than 20 road races will be held. Shots are fired on this day to form the first “ultramarathon weekend” in 2022. (Related reports in the past:

The first ultra-marathon weekend in 2022 is here, the final “window period” for road running events



However, as the time draws near, only half of the more than ten road running events that were originally scheduled to be held on October 30 will be held as scheduled. The Hebei Baoding Marathon is the first urban marathon in Baoding. It was held for the first time in 2021, with a total of 15,000 runners participating. This year’s Baoding Marathon was held in September, but it was announced to be postponed due to the epidemic. Then the organizing committee reduced the full marathon to half marathon. The participants were also limited to the resident population of Baoding, but they still could not escape. Cancelled fate.


The Taiyuan Marathon, which was originally scheduled to be held on November 6, was also postponed a week before the start of the race. In addition, many marathon events such as the Xi’an Marathon and the Qingdao Marathon have also been postponed one after another. The Wuxi Marathon has been directly postponed to 2023. The Changsha Marathon has been converted to an online race, and the Beijing Marathon, which is also scheduled for November 6, is regarded as “the only hope in the village”.

“Sign up, postpone, postpone again, and then cancel…” A runner was helpless after hearing that the Xi’an Marathon was postponed. This sentence actually expresses the helplessness of China’s road running events in the past three years.


On October 27, the Chinese Athletics Association held a national road running event and event safety supervision work conference through online video and offline main venues. At the meeting, Zhao Yiwen, head of the marathon department of the Chinese Athletics Association, mentioned that as the temperature gradually turns colder at the end of the year, the national road running events have also ushered in a window period for running the races. In terms of safety, organizational security, regulatory priorities, and optimization of services, it is hoped that all competition entities will further perform their respective responsibilities and consolidate and clarify regulatory responsibilities. The Chinese Athletics Association has carried out online presentations and discussions with key provinces and cities since September. Next, it will also do a good job in optimizing the service work of the organizing committees of each event to ensure that the events can be carried out in a safe and orderly manner.


In addition, Wang Xiaoying, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Athletics Association, said in her speech that from the current situation, how to take into account epidemic prevention and competition, safety and development in the holding of road running events is the main difficulty currently facing, and it is necessary to establish a strong sense of safety bottom line , coordinating safety and development, under the normalization of epidemic prevention and control, the Chinese Athletics Association will continue to strengthen guidance and management, and support the healthy development of standardized road running events.



Short-distance and small-scale events have a higher success rate


In the eyes of many industry people, although the work meeting of the Athletics Association is daily work, it has a clear signal to the industry: local cities can hold marathon events if they meet the regulations and meet the conditions for running the competition.


In addition to the good news from the Athletics Association, there is no sign of postponement or cancellation of the road running event to be held this weekend. The Hangzhou 2022 Tonglu Half Marathon was originally scheduled to be held on March 13 this year, but was postponed to October 30 due to the epidemic. At that time, 10,000 runners will participate. In terms of epidemic prevention requirements, contestants need to start self-health monitoring 7 days before registration. Contestants from other provinces must strictly implement “on-the-ground inspection” and “three-day inspections”, and do not enter public places until the results come out.


On the same day, the Wuxi Taihu Women’s Half Marathon was held. However, recently, some runners said that after receiving the relevant information such as the collection of the competition package, they received an urgent mass message from the organizing committee: “If you have an out-of-town trip within 7 days, please do not come to collect materials and participate in the competition.” Players who travel abroad will be persuaded to withdraw.


At the same time, the Beijing Marathon, which will be held on November 6, announced that it will hold a pre-race press conference on October 31. According to a number of runners, the Beijing Marathon has not yet announced the news of winning the lottery. If the press conference can be held smoothly, it means that the Beijing Marathon, which has been separated for two years, is expected to be held as scheduled this year. In addition, Adidas, the sponsor of North Malaysia, also launched a variety of event peripherals as scheduled.


Although this year’s Beijing Marathon has many restrictions on the number of participants, at present, such regionalized events that only local people can participate in may be more in line with the current situation, and small-scale half marathons also have a higher success rate.


And this also coincides with the “Guiding Opinions on the Development of Road Running Sports under the Normalization of Epidemic” issued by the Chinese Athletics Association before: breaking the whole into zero, the competition becomes smaller; Simplify the complexity and host simple and easy events. In the next stage, small-scale events dominated by locals may become the mainstream of road running events.

Note: The pictures used in this article are from the Internet