Sunday morning, while most people will be sleeping/ clubbing/ trying to get sober, about 15,000 runners will gather for the Shanghai marathon and half marathon, starting at 7:30 am, on Nanjing Dong Lu and Sichuan Lu.
For those who feel sympathetic (check the weather forecast) and want to cheer the participants up, they start from the Peace Hotel, run on Nanjing Dong Lu, Jiujiang Lu, Nanjing Xi Lu, Yan’an Xi Lu, Zhongshan Lu, etc. etc. etc. They end up on Hongmei Lu, and eventually finish the 42.2 km-long-race in the Minhang Gymnasium (and we thought people usually try to run away from Minhang … maybe a loop route would have made more sense?). The full route is here. The half marathon runners also finish at Minhang Gymnasium, but take some short cuts in between.
It is a very popular event each year, attracting people from all over the world, and also from every corner of China (Inner Mongolia is in the house!). As stated on the marathon’s website:
Toray Cup Shanghai International Marathon has become a traditional sports event of Shanghai and a grand occasion for worldwide race enthusiasts and the people of Shanghai. It has been held annually for ten times. Over the ten years, Shanghai International Marathon has become more and more attractive and popular. Participants have risen from the initial one thousand to fifteen thousand. Participating cities and provinces have increased from ten to twenty-seven. Participating countries (regions) have increased from twenty-two to thirty-six. Besides, the runners’ results have been improved year by year. It has become one of the four China’s golden marathons recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations, together with Beijing Marathon, Xiamen Marathon and Dalian Marathon.
Shanghaiist will take part in the half marathon, and will complete it, if everything goes fine (no fallen runners, no crazy Irish priests), in less than 2 hours. And then we will have a huuuuge breakfast afterwards.