hough it’s only been about a month since China was struggling with the peak of its coronavirus outbreak, one city felt confident enough to stage a marathon over the weekend.
The Chengdu Shuangyi Marathon was held on Sunday with about 1,000 runners taking part in China’s first large-scale race event since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic in January.
The 6-kilometer mini-marathon was hosted in the scenic suburb of Dujiangyan, which has been deemed as a “low-risk” area for the Covid-19 virus with not a single case reported thus far.
All runners participating in the race were locals who had to present their health certificate and pass a temperature check to enter.
To reduce the risk of coronavirus spread, the runners were divided up into 10 groups which started the marathon every two minutes.
They also were required to wear face masks, though many shed the masks when they started running.
The hosting of the marathon has received widespread criticism on Chinese social media for being both “pointless” and “dangerous” as China is just beginning to recover from a deadly virus that claimed more than 3,000 lives in the country.
“If you don’t run, are you going to die?” asks one Weibo user.
“Why couldn’t you just wait a month? What’s the rush?” wrote another.
“What genius thought it would be a good idea to hold a marathon with masks?” commented one more.