The Macau International Marathon has been successfully hosted for thirty three years with the aim of developing local sports, strengthening friendship between people from different parts of the world and promoting sport tourism in Macau.
“With a long history rooted in the community of the city, the Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon has become one of the most popular sport events,” said Jose Tavares, President of Macau Sport Development Board of the Macau SAR Government.
“Through continuous enhancement, the event has been attracting long distance runners around the world, which raises the event profile and successfully attracts attention, locally and abroad.”
The 2015 Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon took place on the Sunday 6th December 2015, organised by the Macao Sport Development Board and the General Association of Athletics of Macau.
“As the host of the event, we are dedicated to conduct welI-rounded preparation to welcome each and every participant with warm hospitality, as we believe that ideal conditions will optimise opportunities of better results,” said Tavares.
2015 marked the tenth anniversary of the inscription of the historic centre of Macau on the World Heritage List. The Macau International Marathon once again traversed the UNESCO world heritage site, passing through the A-Ma Temple.
The race started at the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in Taipa and, for the first time, ran through the Hengqin campus of the University of Macau.
The event coincided with the “Parade through Macau, Latin City”, creating synergistic effects between the marathon, local tourism and culture.
“We are offering diversified programs and festive galas to sincerely welcome marathon lovers from different parts of the world,” said Alexis Tam Chon Weng, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government.
“This year's international marathon will integrate more cultural and tourism elements and provide a diversity of choices and wonderful experiences to participants and tourists.
“This not only demonstrates our friendliness and hospitality, but it also reflects the government's determination to establish Macau as a ‘World Centre of Tourism and Leisure’.”
The Macau International Marathon continues to grow in size, with participants from 50 countries from around the world participating.
“The number of this year's marathon runners has reached its new heights and this historical sport of long-distance running has been gaining more and more popularity around the world,” said Alexis Tam Chon Weng, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government.
“Marathon, which signifies limits, difficulties and challenges, also stands for endeavour, perseverance and triumph. And all because of the difficulties, people can fully experience the spirits of sportsmanship like righteousness, courage, honour and happiness.”
In 2015, 8,000 athletes from 50 countries and regions participated, up from a quota of 6000 the previous year. The quota for the half marathon was full on the first day of registration while the general marathon was full on the second day of registration. Managing this growth is no small task.
“In order to cater to the needs of the rising number of running lovers, the organising committee has dedicated to create better conditions and overcome difficulties in increasing the registration quota,” said Ma Lao Hang, President of General Association of Athletics of Macau.
“All members from the General Association of Athletics of Macau, race judges and staff are committed to get every aspect of the event well prepared and provide the best conditions for all participants to create remarkable records.”
The Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon is a truly global event, with former winners from Belarus, China, North Korea, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Italy, Kenya, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.
2015 was a good year for the Ukraine in Macau, with Vitaly Shafar and Olena Shurkhno winning the men’s and women’s general marathon respectively. The total prize money, awarded for the first ten finishing athletes in the different categories, amounts to US$187,000.
“With the number of participants being increased annually, better and better results have been made,” said Ma Lao Hang.
“The Macau International Marathon has always been an annual major event, we will move forward with all the participants to continue the long history of the Macau International Marathon and create legends for the sport development of Macau.”