Marathon runners brave the downpour in Yantian

Writer: Yang Mei  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-03-27

Yesterday morning with intermittent pouring rain, 15,000 runners from 19 countries and regions, brimming with enthusiasm, gathered in Yantian District to take part in the First Shenzhen Yantian Shanhai Half Marathon.

The half-marathon kicked off at 7:30 a.m. at the Yantian District Administration and Cultural Central Square. Hong Yue from Guizhou Province won the men’s division with a time of 1:06:57, while Pan Sufang, also from Guizhou, won the women’s race clocking in at 1:19:15.

The event, under the theme “Embracing the Mountains and Sea, Chasing Dreams in GBA,” was hosted by the Yantian District Government and included a 21-kilometer half-marathon and a 4.5-kilometer fun run.

A runner shakes hands with spectators cheering along the route during the First Shenzhen Yantian Shanhai Half Marathon yesterday morning. Liu Xudong

Hong told reporters that he was satisfied with his result but acknowledged the difficulties encountered. “I’m happy with my performance today, but I must confess the race posed some challenges with the rain and uneven terrain,” he shared.

Half-marathon runners raced through Yantian’s landmarks including the Lighthouse Library, the Waterfront Walkway, Yantian Port, Seafood Street and ended at Dameisha Coastal Park, whereas the fun run course featured the district’s iconic spots like Shenyan Road, Shatoujiao Checkpoint and Yantian District Library.

Liu Haibing, 29, a resident of Longgang District, finished his personal best in one hour and 20 minutes. Liu attributed his success to the cool weather and his recent intensive trainings, although he faced some obstacles from the slopes in the latter half of the race.

Wang Lin, a regular marathon participant in the city, told Shenzhen Daily that the Yantian half-marathon stood out as demanding due to its route, but running in the rain was an “exhilarating” experience.

For runners to fully enjoy Yantian’s enchanting sceneries, signature delicacies and splendid cultural heritages, the refreshment points along the way were well-stocked with various local snacks and drinks such as steamed rice noodle rolls, stuffed tea cakes, roast pigeons and handmade lemon tea. Participants also experienced great hospitality from the spectators and cheering squads, and had an opportunity to get a glimpse of Yantian’s cultural heritages including the waist drum dance, fish lantern dance, martial arts, lion dance and Kylin dance.