The 42nd edition of the Macau International Marathon to be run in December has heeded public opinion and will have new routes that will explore the Cotai area and particularly the properties of the sponsor – Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG), the president of the Sports Bureau (ID), Pun Weng Kun, said yesterday at the press conference that presented this year’s event.
“The organizing committee has added new elements to the racecourse design and the marathon, half-marathon and mini-marathon courses this year will all pass through the Cotai Strip, bringing participants a brand-new experience,” Pun said. He added the novelty comes in a bid to create better race conditions and experiences for participants and taking into account “opinions from all sectors of society.”
As for the event itself, it will repeat the format of previous editions with three race distances, the full marathon (42.2km), the half-marathon (21.1km) and the mini-marathon (approx. 6.3km). As usual, the organizers have also established the quotas for the number of participants in each event with 1,400 participants for the marathon; 4,800 participants for the half-marathon and 5,800 participants for the mini-marathon.
After the press conference and speaking to the media on the sidelines of the event, Pun noted the organizers aim to attract a greater number of overseas athletes this year. As for those usually invited by the ID to join the event, the president said these would be a restricted number of about one dozen, although admitting that the number is not yet finalized.
“We are choosing among the best and the most renowned ones only,” Pun said, noting that it is expected that the presence of a few important names in the sports will attract others to participate.
As for the Macau athletes, the organizers will continue to invite “a few” among those that “have been achieving good results and namely winning in their categories,” the same official remarked.
At the press conference, the vice president of the General Association of Athletics of Macau (AGAM), Chan Pou Sin, also noted the route change as a good initiative to maintain interest in the race, noting the AGAM has already started preparations on the racecourse, namely on the measurement and plan for the markings and water stations, among others, to ensure the event is successful. He also noted that AGAM attaches great importance to this event as the major annual event from the association and for the sport.
In his turn, and as a representative of the GEG, the Chief Financial Officer, Ted Chan, noted the long commitment of the group to this event and the support to major sports events in general, also noting that is with pleasure that the group sees the new racecourse passing through the group’s properties in the Cotai area and especially the newly developed tourism projects.
As in previous editions, the GEG continues to offer special packages for overseas athletes who decide to come to Macau to participate in the event.
As a first, Chan also noted GEG has invited local film director Emily Chan to produce the marathon promotional video that will be used for the promotion of the event through different platforms.
Registration for the event will start this weekend, with the marathon and the half-marathon opening for registrations on Sept. 16 (Saturday) at 9 a.m. and the mini-marathon starting at the same time but on the next day (Sept. 17).
GEG to bear all costs of the marathon
Title-sponsor of the marathon for 19 consecutive years, the Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) is not only the main sponsor but the only sponsor this time, bearing all costs related to the event.
This information was aired by the president of the Sports Bureau, Pun Weng Kun, in his opening remarks, and it is part of the government’s bid to position the gaming industry not only as contributing to the government purse in terms of taxes but also as major sponsors of events and activities that go far beyond the casinos and even the integrated resorts premises.