12,000 expected to fill the streets for 37th Marathon

The president of the Sports Bureau, Pun Weng Kun

The 37th Macao Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon will take place this year with an expected 12,000 participants running the three available distances in the early hours of Sunday, December 2, the Sports Bureau (ID) announced at a press conference held yesterday at the ID’s facilities.

This year, the organization decided to maintain the maximum participant quota at 12,000, as established last year. The ID noted that, as in previous editions, it is expected that entries will be sold-out in “just a few hours.”

The number of participants permitted in each race this year is the same as last year, with the full marathon to be capped at 1,600 participants, the half-marathon distance at 4,600 and for the shortest, and the most popular distance among the residents – the ‘mini-marathon’ – to have a maximum of 5,800 registration slots.

The event reserves the majority of the available MOP1.9 million in prize money for the male and female winners of the overall classification.

Each of them will be granted a prize of MOP578,400, which may increase by MOP120,000, in the event that a new record time is set.A special prize of MOP70,000 is reserved for local athletes, also to be split among male and female categories.

As in previous years, the event is kicking-off at 6 a.m. on December 2 at the Macau Olympic Stadium in Taipa.

The mini-marathon competition will take place entirely in the Taipa and Cotai areas, while the marathon and half-marathon events will take broadly similar routes across part of the Peninsula, crossing through the Sai Van Bridge and with a passage through some heritage areas such as the Temple of A-Má in Barra before heading back to Taipa along the Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge, through Taipa Village and Cotai and down into Coloane.

For this second part of the route in between the Rotunda dos Jogos da Asia Oriental and the Village of Coloane there will be two laps leading to the finish line installed at Macau Olympic Stadium.

The registration period for the different races will be split across two days. For the marathon and half-marathon events, registration will open on September 15 (Saturday) from 9 a.m. until sold out. Meanwhile, the registration for the mini-marathon event will open at the same time on the following day, September 16 (Sunday). The president of the ID, Pun Weng Kun, noted during the press conference that places are likely to sell-out fast, as with previous years. According to Pun, “in the last few years, the awareness in the population of the importance of developing healthy lifestyles has been growing, leading to the growing popularity among residents of the long-distance run.”

Pun noted the growing interest from higher-level athletes, demonstrated by an increasing number of records being broken.

Also at the press conference, Ma Iao Hang, the chairman of the General Association of Athletics of Macau, noted that this is the most important running competition to be held in the region, to which the association attaches great importance. The association has “established a workgroup with over 1,000 people” to work in various roles during and ahead of the event, including special training courses to prepare athletes and improve their competition level.

As with Pun, Ma also recalled the limited number of places available, reminding all interested participants to complete their registration as soon as possible.

For the 15th consecutive year, Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) continues to be the event’s title sponsor.

At the press conference, the director of GEG, Philip Cheng, said the company is pleased by the event’s growth, noting that, once more, GEG will sponsor the Best Creative Costume Award and the Best Shot of Marathon campaigns, with prizes that include vehicles, hotel accommodation packages and food and beverage vouchers.

Additionally, Cheng also made mention of the company’s policy to incentivize staff members to join the event, saying, “[Last year], over 900 GEG team members took part in the marathon and several of them won awards.”

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