30,000 run Beijing Marathon under blue skies

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BEIJING, Sept 17 (APP): While this year’s seasonal winter
smog has arrived earlier than usual due to unusual weather
conditions, thousands of participants competing in the 2017
Beijing Marathon on Sunday, had the privilege of running under
blue skies.
More than 30,000 runners from 33 countries and regions
participated in this year’s competition, many donning
eye-catching costumes. Starting in Tiananmen Square, the
42.195-kilometre marathon route concluded at the Olympic
Sports Center Area, which is home to the iconic Bird’s
Nest stadium.
Moroccan Salah Eddine Bounasr won the men’s race with
a winning time of 2 hours 11 minutes 18 seconds and Ethiopian
runner Beyene won the women’s contest. Chinese runner Li
Zicheng ranked ninth in the men’s group and He Yinli came in
fifth in the women’s group.
Nearly 100,000 people applied for this year’s competition.
The organizers announced that people who transfer their
place in the marathon to others will be barred for life, but
many said that the authorities were unable to identify all
of the 30,000 participants.
To deter cheats, the Beijing marathon committee arranged
video surveillance of the entire route and for the first time
introduced new technology to identify the authenticity of
runners’ identification tags.
In recent years, marathon running has been regarded as
a middle-class sport which has drawn millions of fans all
over the country. Founded in 1981, the Beijing Marathon
is viewed as China’s “national” marathon.