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Running resolutely into the new year

( chinadaily.com.cn ) 2019-01-02

Spreading the brand

Official figures show that up until November last year, there were a total of 1,072 marathon events held in China, attracting about six million participants.

Given the fierce competition, organizing a profitable race is no certainty. Run the Track, though, believes its uniqueness can ensure it has a bright future in China.

"Run the Track was originally a sort of exclusive activity for F1 drivers, technicians and other staff of the teams during the grand prix. We were inspired and introduced it on New Year's Day in 2015 for the first time to the public," said Patrick Yang, general manager of race co-organizer Shanghai Juss Event Management Co. Ltd and also one of the bosses of the company that owns the F1 track.

"What I can reveal is that, apart from the first year, we have not made a loss. We have been trying to find a sustainable and suitable business model. Having more sports events that can involve and benefit more people will always be an aim for us."

Run the Track is now looking at expanding beyond Shanghai.

"We are considering bringing the Run the Track model to more places," said Liu Hui, general manager of co-organizer Headline Culture & Media Co. Ltd.

"As a half-day marathon event with no television coverage, the business can barely be profitable. But as a year-long series in many other locations, the brand can be more attractive."

Shanghai's local government is simply happy to see locals reap the health benefits.

"Facilitating the development of the national fitness program and building a healthier Jiading district has always been our aim," said Wang Hao, deputy head of the district.

"Run the Track has become an iconic New Year's Day marathon event in Shanghai. It's also the only marathon held on an F1 track in the country."

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