Around 6,000 runners from both home and abroad will take part in the second Shanghai International Elite 10k Race on October 29 at the Changfeng Ecological Business Hub in Putuo District.
As part of the Shanghai International Marathon, the event has made the bank of Suzhou Creek a new sports landmark. The first 10km race was held in Putuo last year.
The elite race, run in Putuo's comforting ecological environment, has been listed as a "bronze medal event" by China Athletic Association and become popular among local running enthusiasts.
This year's race sponsored by PHICOMM, an information technology company, aims to showcase the city's cultural and humanistic images, enhance the influence of Putuo as well as promote the brand of the Shanghai International Marathon.
As Shanghai is following in Beijing's footsteps by canceling the 21km international half marathon event, more runners have shifted over to the 10km races.
Over 30,000 people have applied to take part in the event. Under such circumstances, the elite race in Putuo, which is being held two weeks ahead of the marathon, will become a hot cake among runners, said Yang Yong, deputy general manager with the Donghao Lansheng event company, the organizer.
The event has become the largest scale 10km race in downtown, with 5,400 runners taking part in the 10km elite race and 600 in the family expected to run this year. The organizer aims to make it the most professional 10km race in China.
To achieve the goal, most elite runners will be invited based on their performances in previous races.
Those who qualify will be men finishers inside 40 minutes and women within 50 minutes of last year's 10km elite race.
Men who finished the Shanghai International Half Marathon in an hour and 38 minutes, along with women finishing in an hour and 53 minutes also qualify. These runners get the quotas directly after application.
Last day registration for the public was last Friday on a rule of "first come first served," the organizer said. The entrance fee for the 10km race is 100 yuan (US) and 50 yuan for the family run. The top 300 finishers will qualify for the Shanghai half marathon in 2018.
"Many of the world's top athletes will be invited to take part in this year's 10km race to allow locals to have a chance to compete with them," said Yang.
To attract more elites from around world, the organizer has increased the top prize to 8,000 yuan from 5,000 yuan last year.
Around 5,000 Chinese and foreigners defied the rain and cold chill to take part in the first 10km elite race last year on November 13. They flagged off from the Suzhou Creek wharf on Danba Road and ran along the creek.
Kenyans, David Kiprono Metto and Serser Alice Cherotich Milgo, won in the men's and women's categories with timings of 29.28 minutes and 33.21 minutes, respectively. Chinese participants Li Wei and Shi Yanxiu won the amateur men's and women's categories with 32.1 minutes and 38.16 minutes.
The route remains same this year and contestants will get to race through the stunning backdrop of the Changfeng Ecological Business Hub along the Suzhou Creek, the district government said. The waterfront area is surrounded by over 50 percent of greenery, ecological landscapes and a comforting living environment. The site once served the Shanghai Chemical Reagent Co., one of China's homegrown industries. A 70-meter tall chimney from the company has been preserved and will serve as a landmark at the finish line of the family run.
Runners will also have the chance to see other industrial relics along the race route, including former factories of matchboxes and ajinomoto, the Jackie Chan Film Gallery and the exhibition hall of Suzhou Creek's industrial civilization.
The Putuo district government has spent 13 years to develop the hub into an ideal zone for living and entrepreneurship. Newly built green spaces cover an area of 1.5 million square meters, which tops the urban districts in the city.
Furthermore, the district aims to develop the banks of Suzhou Creek into an active sports site. Apart from the race, Putuo has held the international dragon boat race and bridge game competition at the riverside region this year.
Putuo aims to make the Suzhou Creek banks a best place for citizens to travel, relax and take part in various sports within five years, the government said.