This October Xiangyang will embrace its first marathon race. Recent years saw marathon races in Huangshi, Wuhan, Enshi, Jingmen, Yichang and Xianning of Hubei.
Chutian Bulletin reporters have found that as early as in 2015, an online forum user “Xizhengke” proposed a marathon in Xiangyang. Deng Yaoqiong, head of Xiangyang Women’s Runner Group, said that with favorable wide and level road conditions, beautiful landscape and capacity for accommodation, Xiangyang is ready for large-scale marathon races, given the fact that many first-tier cities and provincial capital cities across China have sponsored international marathon, even a number of second and third tier cities have followed suit.
Xiangyang Runners Association was set in 2016, in addition to nine other runners groups, including Xiangyang Running Lovers, Xiangyang Women’s Runner Group, Xiangyang Marathon Group, as well as 10 runner groups in Zaoyang, Gucheng and Laohekou. The Runners Association now has over 1600 members, 120 of whom joined as founding members.
According to staff with Xiangyang Municipal Physical and Cultural Administration, based on its own conditions, Xiangyang held a number of international and domestic mass sports events in recent years, including 2014 Tour of China International Road Cycling Race, China Road Racing Championship, National Truck Competition, Formula Student China, and international basketball challenges (Cuban National Team and USA Jets). In the meantime, there are various sports events like dragon boat contest, mountain-climbing by 10,000 people, etc. Xiangyang’s sports brands have gained popularity gradually. Now the international marathon in Xiangyang is set to kick off in October.