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Running with Champions

《宁波聚焦》团队包揽短程赛男子冠、季节

Written by (作者): Yijun Fang 方毅俊

Photos by (图片来源): Xuguang Pan 潘旭光, Kaixia Zheng 郑凯侠, Yue Tang 汤越


 

On April 26th, 2015, the Mustang Battery Jiulong Lake International Half Marathon began with a gunshot.

Ningbo Focus and co-sponsor Reindeer Station hosted a 30 person team at the half marathon. From the very get go to race day, all the runners were like a family. Friends supported each other and trained together, everything was coordinated up to the very last second. Then, the big day finally came.

“Bang!” at 8:00am sharp two gunshots and the race began. 4,500 marathoners and running enthusiasts broke through the starting line, creating a colorful ocean of orange, blue, and green. With drones in the air, cameras, and smart phones everywhere, runners cheered and screamed to be glimpsed by whoever the audience would be.

Amidst this cheerful atmosphere, the top runners scattered throughout the race, our 30 runners in front, back, and everywhere in between. The press was a flurry as well, trying to glimpse the top runners among fans as they sped by. Throngs of people cheered for their favorites, family, friends, and everyone else running along in the warm May sun, some red with heat and others pushing through the pain to the various finish lines for the three races that were part of the event.

The race itself ran from Zhenhai People’s Square to Zhenhai Avenue, Jiulong Lake Avenue, with the main half marathon going all the way to the Jiulong Lake Scenic Area entrance. There were 12 stations for water, energy drinks, food, and fruit stationed at different areas along the race – especially near the end – to provide runners the ability to replenish their energy to finish strong or celebrate the finish. 770 volunteers also were there to help wherever needed.

The greatest announcement came when members of the Ningbo Focus/Reindeer Station team had completed the race in 40 minutes, thus securing 1st and 3rd place.

Sang Nicholas Kiprotich and Gacinya Eric of Kenya came out to be the best of the best. We were able to catch up with the winners through throngs of fans, media, and event organizers to ask about their wins.

The two runners had trained for this day and had run for many years in Kenya. I caught up with Sang Nicholas after fighting through a throng of Chinese supporters, marathon organizers, and other journalists. Even with all the chaos around him, Sang Nicholas was relaxed, a product of the running. “Running makes me feel relaxed” he told me. Sang Nicholas had been running for 7 years while in Kenya, but this was his first win thanks to hard training and 10 kilometer a day runs. I asked if he was more relaxed after the win, he laughed and agreed.

Speaking with Eric, the third place winner, was relatively easier to find. I found him sitting in a lawn chair in the suddenly barren Zhenhai People’s Square, only the bus and team members waiting and talking with friends. Eric had been running for 2 years in Kenya, having run marathons in his home country before. They were just so-so compared to this one, he said. He was very happy to have won, smiling and saying “I feel good.”


短程男子前三


 

4月26日,2015野马电池九龙湖(宁波)国际半程马拉松赛鸣枪开赛。

《宁波聚焦》联合灵达商务组织了30人的专业团队,积极参赛。从开始报名,直到比赛结束,我们始终如同一个大家庭,彼此守望相助,彼此鼓励,用努力和汗水收获了奖牌和笑容,还有大家庭的温暖。

早晨8点,比赛准时的鸣枪开赛。来自18个国家和地区的4500名马拉松爱好者汇聚成了橙、绿、蓝的三色海洋,人们的脸上挂着笑容,精力充沛。而当《宁波聚焦》的航拍机掠过人群上空时,引起了参赛者们的欢呼声。

在这种愉快的氛围里,30名《宁波聚焦》的参赛者分散在人群当中,以轻松的步调开始了艰辛而愉快的奔跑之旅。《宁波聚焦》的采访团队则登上组委会准备的采访车,向着终点一路进发。

当天的比赛线路是从市民广场出发,沿镇海大道、九龙大道,直至九龙湖风景区。 比赛沿途设12个补给点,为运动员提供水、能量饮料、高能量食品、水果等物品用以补给。770余名受过专业培训的志愿者,同时为选手提供服务。

仅仅在出发后的40余分钟,好消息传来!《宁波聚焦》团队包揽了短程赛项目男子的冠军和季节。

桑恩·尼古拉斯·基普洛迪什(Sang Nicholas Kiprotich)和加辛亚·埃里克(Gacinya Eric),你们是最棒的!是《宁波聚焦》团队的骄傲!是让我们这个大家庭引以为傲的伙伴!我们所有的伙伴们都顺利的完成了比赛,并成为了当天亮丽的风景线和焦点。

而当桑恩和带着埃里克《宁波聚焦》的头带登上领奖台的刹那,感觉真是太棒了!

与两位获胜者的交谈

《宁波聚焦》马拉松团队的两个成员——桑恩·尼古拉斯·基普洛迪什(Sang Nicholas Kiprotich)和加辛亚·埃里克(Gacinya Eric)分别在九龙湖(宁波)国际半程马拉松赛获得了男子短程赛的冠军和季军。这两位选手都来自肯尼亚,而且都已经拥有多年的长跑经验。在突破众多中国支持者、马拉松主办单位和其他媒体记者的重重包围之后,我追上了桑恩。尽管身后依然一片喧嚣,但桑恩已经放松了下来,这是长跑之后的一种调节方式。“长跑让我感觉放松。”桑恩在肯尼亚跑了7年,但这是他第一次夺冠。我问他是否在这次夺冠之后更放松了,他笑着朝我点点头。

与季军埃里克的对话,相对来说,是轻松惬意的。比赛后,我们坐在突然寂静下来的镇海市民广场草坪上的躺椅里,旁边只有公交车和《宁波聚焦》的队友们,几个朋友在一起聊侃。埃里克在故乡肯尼亚已经练习了两年长跑,并在他的家乡参加过马拉松比赛。但与这次的马拉松比赛相比,埃里克觉得那些比赛都不值得一提。能够夺得季军,让埃里克倍感开心,他笑着对我说道“我感觉很好。”

 

 

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