Charity run raises over ¥6.5m
THE fourth Run For Love Shenzhen (Yantian) Mountain Marathon, an annual charity event, raised more than 6.5 million yuan (US$1.03 million) yesterday, triple that raised at last year's event, thanks to the efforts of over 10,000 participants from 22 countries and regions.
The number of participants was more than 1.5 times that of last year. The runners, aged between 10 and 70, competed in three categories — a full 42-km run, a half marathon and a 10-km run, to cover Dameisha and Xiaomeisha beach parks and Maluanshan Mountain.
The revenue mostly came through registration fees and donations from individuals and organizations. The money will be donated to a subsidiary of the One Foundation, a charity founded by actor Jet Li.
Under the program, "warm packages," each of which is worth 365 yuan and contains articles including cotton-padded clothes, gloves, socks and shoes, will be sent to children in western China, which is known to suffer from extreme weather conditions during winter.
The program is expected to help 18,000 children in 10 provinces, according to the charity's official website.
Both professional and amateur runners were warmly applauded by spectators along the way.
"I feel good to be a part of the charity run," said Briton Ben Swainson, who yesterday took part in the full marathon at his first appearance at the event.
Swainson said Shenzhen should have more events of this kind as currently he needs to go to Hong Kong whenever he wants to take part in a running activity. Based in Nanshan District where he works in trade, Swainson often goes jogging in the mangrove park.
Liam Rodden, a New Zealander who works in Futian District, trained hard for many months ahead of the event. "I completed a half marathon last year and this year I went for a full one. I hope we succeeded in raising money for needy children," said Rodden, who trains in Huanggang Park.
Li fired the starting pistol at the beginning of the full marathon.
Li said the activity would make winter less cold for a lot of needy children and told spectators he expected to see them at next year's event. His words were cheered at the event that saw over 1,300 volunteers offer services.
"Although the volunteers didn't take part in the run, their efforts to create a joyful atmosphere should be applauded," said Qi Feng, who served in the charity bazaar at the event.
This is the fourth year in a row that Qi has served at the event. Run For Love is reportedly the biggest charity sports event in the country.
(Source: Shenzhen Daily)