2017 Campus Marathon Run at Soochow University

On December 9th, 2017 Soochow University Campus Marathon, also an activity for the cooperative program of "Famous City Famous University" between Soochow and Suzhou Municipal City, was held in Tiancizhuang Campus of the University. It is the fifth consecutive year that Soochow has hosted this event and this, more than 3000 runners and over 20 thousand audience came to the racing.




As usual, the Marathon consists of four parts, namely "Peer Following", "Happy Running", Mini-Marathon, and Half-Marathon. According to the organization committee, the participants were so passionate that the 3000 quota for the event were registered the very day that the registration was open.


Several leaders presented at the Opening Ceremony of the event, including Mr. Xu Hong, a Deputy Section Director from Ministry of China; Mr. RuiGuoqiang and Mr. Zhou Gao, Members of the Standing Committee of CCP Soochow University; Mr. Pan Shihua and Mr. Gu Kai, Officials from Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education; Mr. Liu Tao, a Section Director from Jiangsu Provincial Administration of Sports; Mr. Wang Jiahong, Chairman of Jiangsu Federation of University Sports; Mr. Liu Yuanjun, the former President of Soochow University Taiwan;Mr. Zhou Zhifang, alumnus of Soochow and Director of Suzhou Municipal Administration of Sports; Ms. Chen Yanqing, alumnus of Soochow, Champion of two Olympic Games, and Deputy Director of Suzhou Municipal Administration of Sports; Ms. Zhou Chunxiu, alumnus of Soochow and Champion of Marathon in Olympic Games; Wu Zhixiang, alumnus of Soochow and CEO of Tongcheng Co. Ltd.




Mr. Rui extended a warm welcome to the guests and the athletes on behalf of Soochow University. He stated that the Soochow University Campus Marathon is an important event that contributes to the development of Suzhou as an international reputed city of sport culture, and it is also an event that brands the city, the university, and the spirit. 3077 runners in total joined the event ranged from students, alumni, Member of Soochow Board, to local citizens and students from institutes of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Mr. Rui also encouraged the runners to challenge themselves with passion and energy in the marathon and make the event not only a featured match but also a symbol of healthy lifestyles and harmonious city culture.




17 representatives from "Huihan" Schools (A program launched by Soochow for helping students in poverty) triggered the starting gun for the "Peer Following" section and "Happy Running" section while the leaders triggered for the mini-marathon and the half-marathon. Then, the runners started to enjoy the event in their own ways. For those with sufficient endurance, they kept running and tried the best to achieve high scores; for the slow ones, the beauty of the campus seemed to be more fascinating than the racing; for other, the marathon was of more special meaning.




Bhai Mar Ciugene, a graduate from Medical College, travelled over 4200 kilometers and came all the way from Tibet to Suzhou for this event, and achieved the 4th place in the section of mini-marathon. Bhai said the meaning of marathon for him was that people should never give up and should fight to the end; he also promised that he would join the event every year in the future. As a representative of the runners, Bhai greeted Mr. RuiGuoqiang with a khata, which is a ritual of showing respect in Tibet.




Wang Xueqin, a year one postgraduate student at Soochow and an Olympic marathon athlete, also joined the half-marathon and won the champion with the record of 1 hour 36 minutes and 4 seconds. "Running can build and relax the body; and runners can feel special happiness during the running. I hope more people can start running and enjoy running".



This year, it is also the second time that Mr. Liu Yuanjun, the former President of Soochow University Taiwan joined the event. "I bring with me six runners from Taiwan this year and I'll bring more next time", promised Liu. Also, he expressed that the marathon can enhance the exchange between students from the two universities which actually share the same roots.



Aside from the running, the campus marathon also incorporated a number of other activities, such as the "wall of hand imprinting", "wall of signature", "graffiti", etc. But the most attractive one at the venue of the racing was the vending stall of "Huihan" program. By selling postcards, t-shirts, sports caps and other Soochow souvenirs, "Huihan" committee collect 8000 Yuan for the funding that supports 25 primary schools in less developed regions.




To ensure the success of the marathon, more than 700 people served in the logistics, covering volunteer service, medical care, security service, etc. Also, new technologies such as ID card scanning, WeChat scoring were also used to make the event a wonderful experience for everyone involved.