Flower Sea Marathon in Rural China Boosts Economy, Attracts 3,000 Runners
TENGCHONG, China, August 2, 2019 (Newswire.com) - With the firing of a starting pistol, 3,000 runners surged forward from the starting line in Southwest China. They took part in the Tengchong Flower Sea Marathon, an event held in Tengchong, China along the slopes of the soaring Gaoligong Mountains.
The city of Tengchong sits in the western region of the Yunnan Province, near the border with Myanmar. It is an agricultural country, but the pristine nature of the area, as well as its elevation, means Tengchong is quickly becoming a hotbed for China’s booming distance-running community.
At this year’s event, race organizers unveiled a purpose-built track stretching for 42.195 kilometers. The six-meter wide tarmac serves the dual purpose of racecourse and tourist trail, transporting runners and travelers alike through pristine forests, across ancient bridges, over fog-shrouded mountain slopes and past time-worn villages inhabited by indigenous people.
The Tengchong Flower Sea Marathon attracts premier runners, weekend warriors, government functionaries and celebrities because the course weaves its way through some of Southern China’s most beautiful backdrops. For one, the Gaoligong Mountains are one of the country’s most biodiverse places. Full and half-marathon participants also pass through tiny little villages with houses dating back to the Qing Dynasty, as well as spectacular rice paddies and endless farms. And then there are the flowers.
In the summer months, this part of Southwest China explodes with wildflowers, creating a beautiful scene and lending this Tengchong marathon its name. The racecourse weaves its way through nearly three square miles of flowering fields, forests and pastureland. The backdrop provides racers with epic views to take their minds off the fact that the entire route is above one mile in elevation, and at times much higher.
The Tengchong Flower Sea Marathon is organized by several government entities in Yunnan, but also by China’s most famous outdoorsman, Jin Feibao. He is a veteran distance runner, world traveler and all-around fitness and nature enthusiast. Jin Feibao uses his celebrity in China to promote healthy living destinations like Tengchong, as well as uses his platform as a famous name to encourage old and young people across the country to get outside, enjoy nature and exercise while doing it.
The Tengchong Flower Sea Marathon represents Yunnan Province’s efforts to meld tourism, healthy living, natural agriculture and outdoor sports in an effort to spur economic development for the region.
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Source: Tengchong Flower Sea Marathon