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African athletes win both women’s and men’s titles at 2014 C&D Xiamen International Marathon

Marathon event concludes successfully on January 2.

XIAMEN – The 2014 C&D Xiamen International Marathon kicked off in Xiamen, China on January 2, with 77,151 participants from 46 countries and regions running one of the world’s most picturesque marathon routes. Mare Dibaba Hurssa from Ethiopia clocked in at 2 hours, 21 minutes and 36 seconds, breaking the female course record held for 6 years and winning the championship. The men’s winner, Mariko Kiplagat Kipchumba, a 39-year-old Kenyan veteran, became the oldest champion of international marathons ever held in China.

Lamine Diack, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), attended the opening ceremony and granted IAAF Gold Label Road Race status to the event. It was the first time that Mr. Diack attended a road race event held in China. He said that as the stature of the marathon has continued to grow in this beautiful city, the Xiamen Marathon has set a model and an example for marathon races in other Chinese cities and taken its rightful position in the global track and field community.

The most environment-friendly marathon in China

Volunteers wearing green head-scarves, white T-shirts and carrying trash bags along the marathon route were especially eye-catching, as they labored to collect bottles, plastic bags and other rubbish discarded by spectators, leaving not a trace behind. The Xiamen Marathon is committed to putting on a green event.

100 children hand paint their vision of the marathon

The Kinglong Hundred Meter Picture Roll competition was held during the marathon, where 100 children expressed their interpretation of the city of Xiamen and of the marathon event by hand painting on a hundred-meter picture roll. Mr. Diack handed out an award to the winning child and said, “Children are the future of our world and carry our hope. It is very meaningful to hold such a competition at the marathon event so as to allow the whole of society to show their concern for their healthy growth of its children.”

In the aftermath of the successful event the spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of the people of Xiamen and of every person who attended. Next year, an even more environmentally-friendly and mature Xiamen Marathon will welcome runners from all around the world.

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