Beijing marathon an encouraging sign

This Sunday, 30,000 runners will line up for the Beijing marathon after a two-year break, a sign that life is gradually returning to normal under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Runners will set off from Tian’anmen Square and run 42.195 kilometers to finish at the Olympic Park, which was one of the main venues of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

One of the highest level marathon events in China and certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the Beijing marathon has been held annually since 1981, and has become a symbolic event for marathon enthusiasts. However, it was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to concerns over the potential spread of COVID-19.

In the past three years, many marathon and sports events were either cancelled or held online. The return of the Beijing marathon is not only an encouraging sign for runners, but also a positive development for the sports industry as it indicates large sports galas can be organized if precise prevention and control measures against the pandemic are in place.

Precautions are taken during the event, with participants being requested to provide records of COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots, and being asked to stay in Beijing for at least seven days before claiming event material for the marathon. Not to forget, a valid 24-hour nucleic acid test is required for one to turn up at the starting point.

Not long ago, Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge set a new official world record, clocking 2 hours 1 minute and 9 seconds at the Berlin Marathon 2022 in September.

The spirit is still on. Let us expect the strength and willpower from every runner this Sunday.