About 15,000 runners took part Sunday in the 5th Tianzhong Marathon in Changhua County, which was won by Kenyans in both the male and female categories.
Morris Wambua won the men’s marathon in a time of 2 hours, 48 minutes and 41.58 seconds, while Viola Jepchirchir won the women’s marathon in 3:23:58.40.
Among the Taiwanese competitors, Liu Yi-nan (劉怡男) finished second in the men’s marathon in a time of 2:56:41.85, while Hsiang Wen-hsuan (項文宣) came in fourth in the women’s race in 3:43:53.30.
Some 15,000 runners participated in the event, competing in three categories — the 42.2-kilometer marathon, a half marathon and an 8.3km run, the organizers said.
The route took them through old streets, woodland trails, and rice paddies and and along the Babaojun (八堡圳) canal and irrigation ditches in the central Taiwan county, with temperatures rising from 21.9 degrees Celsius at 7 a.m. to 28.6 degrees at 11 a.m., the organizers said.
Changhua’s picturesque scenery and hospitable residents are two of the reasons why participation has risen to some 15,000 in the four years since the event was first launched, Tianzhong Township chief Hsieh Wen-hsien (謝文賢) said.
His views were supported by Changhua County Magistrate Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷), who said the beautiful scenery of Bagua Mountain Range and the cheering of many residents along the route have become signature features of the event.
Wei also said he hoped the competition would encourage residents of Taiwan, and Tianzhong in particular, to exercise more.
People from more than 10 countries and territories participated in the race, supported by 6,000 cheering residents of the township, which is dubbed Taiwan’s “Rice Heaven.”
Registration for the event was around 50,000 and the organizers said they had to draw lots to limit the number to 15,000.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel