Chengdu Marathon Announced as Abbott World Marathon Majors Candidate Race14.05.2019
The China Athletic Association, Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, Wanda Group and the Abbott World Marathon Majors are pleased to announce that the Chengdu Marathon is an official candidate race for the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM), the first marathon race in China to pursue such distinction.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) is a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. The majors’ level of race organization with world class elite athletes, global media coverage and the scale of the race are all leading among all the marathons in the world.
As a candidate race, the Chengdu Marathon will begin a long-term, multi-year evaluation process conducted by the AbbottWMM. The Chengdu Marathon is the first marathon race in China to be nominated as a candidate race. Chengdu Marathon aspires to join the esteemed ranks of the Tokyo Marathon, the Boston Marathon, the Virgin Money London Marathon, the BMW Berlin Marathon, the Bank of American Chicago Marathon, and the TCS New York City Marathon as a member of the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors in a few years’ time.
Marathon running is the most rapidly developing mass participation sports event in China. According to official statistics from the AbbottWMM, 6,155 runners from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan participated in the Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2018. One key element of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, alongside the elite series, is the Six Star program where everyday runners aim to complete all six majors in their lifetime in order to receive a special Six Star Finisher medal. So far more than 6,000 runners globally have achieved this. Four local runners who have completed the challenge and received their Six Star medals - Liang Feng, Li Xiaobai and Li Zhanzhe also attended the press conference. They all expressed sincere support to the Chengdu Marathon to be nominated as the candidate race.
The inaugural Chengdu Marathon took place in 2017, co-hosted by the Chinese Athletic Association and the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government and the 2019 edition will take place on 27th October. Since its establishment, the marathon has been striving to become the most influential and popular marathon in China. After Wanda Sports became the organizer and promoter in 2018, with its unique course setting, perfect logistics support and great participation experience, the comprehensive level of the competition has been significantly improved and won unanimous praise from runners and media. Over the past two years, the Chengdu Marathon has attracted 48,000 runners from over 54 countries and regions, becoming an emerging power in the marathon race series in China.
Chengdu is located in the center of the Sichuan Province, southwestern China. It is the capital of Sichuan Province and is home to 16 million people. It's also the scientific and technological center, trade center, financial center, transportation and communication hub of Southwestern China. Chengdu is a famous historical and cultural city that attracted 15 million tourists globally last year. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is also very popular among international tourists which is less than 10 kilometers drive from downtown. The conservation project has been very successful since 1980s with the number of giant pandas growing from just six to more than 100. Chengdu will be hosting the World Games in 2025, as part of the cities acceleration in pace to develop a sports-tourism friendly environment.
The launch ceremony of the October 27, 2019 Chengdu Marathon was also held during the press conference today. Race registration will open in June. The scale of the competition will further expand, and the overall number of participants will increase to 30,000. In order to fit the international image of the competition, the event name will be changed from "Chengdu International Marathon" to "Chengdu Marathon". In addition, the prize money, athlete service level, the internationalization level of organization and the course design will be upgraded comprehensively. The course map of the race is being further optimized on the basis of last year, to reduce the short distance turn-backs in the second half of the race, to improve the performance of the athletes. The course will link the present with the past, as the runners will get to fully immerse themselves in the elegant historical city and the splendid late autumn scenery. The race will start from the Jinsha Site Museum, pass through the Qintai Road, Wangjiang Pavilion and other historical and cultural attractions. The second half of the course will mostly cover the "Golden passage"- Tianfu Avenue, which has forged Chengdu into a highly international city. It will be extraordinary experience for the runners with such a great course.
Duan Shijie, Chairman of the Chinese Athletic Association; Yu Hongchen, Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the Chinese Athletic Association and Director of General Administration of Sport of China Athletic Management Center; Wang Nan, the Party Committee Secretary of General Administration of Sport of China Athletic Management Center and Vice Chairman of the Chinese Athletic Association; Niu Qingbao, Deputy Mayor of Chengdu Municipal People’s Government; Xiong Yan, Director of Sports Bureau of Chengdu; Ren Yong, Deputy General Manager of Chengdu Media Group; Tim Hadzima, Executive Director of the Abbott World Marathon Majors; Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group; Zhang Lin, President of Wanda Cultural Industry Group; Yang Hengming, President of Wanda Sports Group; Andrew Messick, CEO of the World Triathlon Corporation; and Yang Dongwei, Vice President of Wanda Sports Group and President of Wanda Sports China participated in the joint announcement in Beijing today.
About Chengdu Marathon
As the rising iconic marathon figure in western China since 2017, Chengdu Marathon is dedicated to provide runners a unique experience to explore Chengdu and receive the best service with the same standard to the leading marathons in the world. Chengdu Marathon is hosted by Chengdu Municipal People’s Government and Chinese Athletic Association and organized and promoted by Wanda Sports China. The slogan is “Chengdu runs towards the World, and the world runs into Chengdu”.
About Wanda Sports
Wanda Sports is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media and marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.
About Abbott World Marathon Majors
The Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) is a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world - Tokyo Marathon, B.A.A. Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon.
Encompassing an annual series for elite runners and elite wheelchair athletes, AbbottWMM also applauds the achievements and passion of everyday champions from around the world. The new AbbottWMM Six Star System is an online results hub that celebrates every runner who has completed from one to six of the races in the series and encourages them to 'Reach for The Stars'.
The AbbottWMM has also launched AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings - our first ever global age group marathon ranking system. Qualifying began in Berlin in September 2018 and will include more than 50 races across the world over a 12-month period. The rankings will culminate at the first AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championship race taking place in spring 2020.