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Running in the Spring Breeze

The 2017 Jinji Lake half marathon was held on March 12. Over 30,000 people participated in the run, which is now in its 8th year. Seifu Tura Abdiwak from Ethiopia was the champion of the men race with a new record of 01:00:47, the fastest in Jinji Lake half marathon's history. The winner of the women race was Diana Chemtai Kipyokel from Kenya, with a record of 1:09:49.

This year the route of the race remained the same as previous years, starting at Moon Harbor, passing Suzhou Culture and Arts Center, Time Square, Ferris Wheel Park and other major scenic spots and landmarks around the lake. 1,577 foreigners from over 50 countries joined the race.

As there were many people registered for a place in the half marathon, the organizers of the event determined eligibility though a lottery, with the odds of being chosen 34%. For people who failed to make the short list, there was the "online marathon". With a Smart-phone app, 260,000 enthusiasts experienced the half marathon with short-listed Jinji Lake half marathon runners.

15 visually impaired participants from Suzhou and Shanghai, each accompanied with three volunteer escorts, enjoyed the event. Four of them took part in the 14km race and 11 of them finished the half marathon. These participants had been training for six months for the Jinji Lake Half Marathon with the help of Suzhou Little Red Cap Volunteers Association. It is the fourth time the association has organized enthusiasts with visual problems for the race and over 100 people have enjoyed the half marathon with their help.

Source: Suzhou Daily
March 20, 2017

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