THE 2023 Shenzhen Marathon held yesterday set new records in the men’s and women’s categories.
Michael Kimani Kamau from Kenya completed the 42.2-kilometer race in 2:08:19, breaking the record of 2:09:44 previously held by Edwin Kipngetich Koech from Kenya in 2018.
Two other runners from Kenya, Pius Karanja Kimani and Abraham Kipkemboi Kiptoo, took second and third places with 2:08:24 and 2:09:51, respectively. Zhou Bo from China took the lead among Chinese runners, according to the event organizers.
In the women’s category, three runners from Ethiopia finished to claim the top three spots, withFikrte Wereta Admasu securing the championship in 2:22:07, significantly improving the women’s event record.
The previous record was made by her compatriot Mulu Seboka Seyfu in 2018, who finished in a time of 2:27:12.
A total of 20,000 runners from over 30 countries and regions gathered at the Civic Center for the race, which kicked off at 7:30 a.m. The route passed through trunk roads such as Shennan Boulevard and Shahe Road West, as well as landmarks and tourist attractions like Window of the World, Shenzhen Bay Park, Universiade Torch Tower, Nantou Ancient Town, Qianhai Stone, and ended at Binhai Plaza in Bao’an District.
At the awards ceremony, the Kenyan runners greeted the audience in Chinese, saying “Shenzhen is the most beautiful city,” and “I love Shenzhen.”
Rich Howard, a marathoner from the U.K., marked his 23rd marathon in total and fourth in Shenzhen. “Shenzhen is a paradise for runners with its mountains, bays, and pretty good weather all year round,” he said.
Howard, 31, a running enthusiast with five years’ experience, is the athletic director of QSI International School in Shekou. He said he felt lucky running in Shenzhen and he has been running with a local running community in Shekou.
“My first time running in Shenzhen Marathon was in 2018. In 2022, I didn’t achieve my race target, but I learned a good lesson about managing my expectation during the race,” Howard said.
“In a marathon, you can run along with people of different ages from 18 all the way through older generations. You can also see people running with disabilities. It doesn’t matter where you come from, people just run, cheering each other on with whatever language they use,” Howard added.
Shang Changbi, a wheelchair-bound runner, also completed the race.
“My best record was 3 hours and 26 minutes. I wanted to complete the race with my hands,” Shang said.
SOURCE: Shenzhen Daily