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First-ever Hohhot Marathon hosts runners in Inner Mongolia

By Miao Wanyi (People's Daily Online)    16:38, July 08, 2018

Over 13,000 runners on Sunday set off in the Hohhot Marathon in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, marking the first marathon in China’s oldest autonomous region. 

Live broadcasts of Hohhot Marathon on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube offered by People's Daily Overseas Social Media Team has attracted thousands of viewers.

Hohhot (Kokegota in Mongolian) is a Mongolian word that means “blue city.” Featured with traditional and modern Mongolian sites and good weather condition for running, the Hohhot Marathon has been long anticipated of local people and marathoners.

As the first marathon in Hohhot, the goal of local organizing committee is to reach as many participants as possible. “Public participation and enthusiasm are the motivation of Hohhot Marathon,” Zhang Zhiqiang, the organizer told People’s Daily.

The course is broken up into three parts, the first part of 4km mini run, the second part of 10km long-distance run, and the full marathon of the third part, which attracted 8,000 runners, 3,000 runners and 2,000 runners respectively.

Along the running course, participants passed by the new developing urban area where the modern and traditional architectures assembled with Mongolian ethnic characteristics, such as the Inner Mongolia museum, the largest museum in the autonomous region, and the most beautiful public toilets “Qingcheng Yizhan.”

The first male winner was Li Chunhui, a professional runner from Inner Mongolia. Li advised in an interview with People’s Daily that people should participate more in marathon to figure out what is the best way to control and communicate with yourself in the extreme condition.

City on the run

China’s cities are keen on hosting marathon games to set up new city images and boost local economy and tourism which echoes the proposal of healthy China that Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for in 2016 as public awareness of healthy lifestyle has never been in such a high level.

Hohhot is a sport city. This year alone has seen many sports tournaments, including a soccer competition held in March. Later, there will be a grand traditional Naadam Festival upcoming from July 16 to 20, which is the largest and most representative festival in the region, with a history that dates farther back than to the Yuan Dynasty.

An Asian-American participator who ran a 10-km course told People’s Daily that China’s marathon is naturally promoting the local culture and the citizens’ participation.

Blue city in green economy

When nature calls in Hohhot Marathon, finding a public toilet should not be a problem. The city has a public toilet every 500 meters (about 550 yards) within the city.

The modern public restrooms are called Qingcheng, which is the nickname of Hohhot. There is even an app that can help people find the nearest Qingcheng Station.

Qingcheng is more than just a public toilet; Qingcheng is a public toilet service. The villa-like restrooms include a tea house and café where residents and tourists can relax and a read book while charging their mobile devices. They are popular on Chinese social media, also a symbol of the “toilet revolution,” a nationwide campaign to improve quality of life and tourist sites. Within three years, Hohhot built a total of 3,067 Qingcheng Stations. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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