Over 100 participants take part in marathon relay to mark CPC's 100 years
Marathon runners get ready for a special running event on Sunday morning to celebrate the centenary of the Communist Party of China, which starts at the memorial site of the First Congress of the CPC in downtown Shanghai. [Photo by Gao Erqiang /china daily.com.cn]
Despite the drizzle, a hundred marathon runners gathered in downtown Shanghai on Sunday morning for a running event held to celebrate the centenary of the Communist Party of China.
After a brief ceremony of reading the oath of the Party following a 97-year-old retired navy general Bao Qi who had participated in The War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), the runners set off for the 132.8 kilometer marathon relay on 7:30 am.
The starting point was at the memorial site of the First Congress of the CPC, and the finishing line was set at the South Lake in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, as symbols of the starting and finishing of the historic meeting.
In July 1921, 12 delegates of the Party's early organizations from across the country held the meeting secretly in a typical Shikumen-style residence in Shanghai, but because of the police's interruption, the meeting moved to a boat on the South Lake.
The meeting produced the first program, the official name and objectives of the Party, and therefore was seen as the birth of the Party later.
The marathon relay was divided into eight legs ranging from 10 to 22 kilometers. Altogether, 800 runners participated in groups of eight to start in different relay points along the routes in Shanghai and in Zhejiang province.
The four relay points in Shanghai were the Huayu Middle School, Qizhong Stadium, Songjiang No 2 High School, Chen Yun Memorial Hall.
The rest relay points were in Zhejiang province, including the Xiangfudang Science and Technology Innovation Green Valley, Jiashan county government hall, and Daqiao township government hall.
Duan Paotao, who has been participating in marathons in the past five years, designed the route as he ran for 11 hours and 43 minutes from Shanghai to Jiaxing in February.
"My journey started before dawn. Running from dark to bright, the one hundred kilometer's route is like the one hundred years of the growth of the Party," he said to Shanghai Television.
Yang Yucheng, an entrepreneur who participated in the marathon, said, "I think it is very meaningful to celebrate the centenary of the Party through a marathon relay as it's not a one-man's journey but a group of people's efforts. It made us better understand that great things cannot be achieved by one person but required collective strength."
Zhao Lidong, a doctor of Shanghai No 6 People's Hospital, said although he hasn't finished a marathon before, he likes running because it can improve health, so he participated the marathon rely.
"Last year, the Chinese healthcare workers and the general public have stood against the test of the pandemic together, and I think this event will not only further strengthen people's bond, but also promote a healthy lifestyle in the society," he said.