UIPM 2019 Global Laser Run City Tour: China joins the party in Beijing and Changsha
Laser Run was introduced to the world with the aim of giving people from urban communities in all countries an entry point to UIPM Sports.
Now it has been embraced by the world’s most populous nation, and in spectacular style.
In June 2019, the Global Laser Run City Tour took place in China for the first time, with one instalment in Beijing on June 1 and another in Changsha on June 8, both arranged by the Chinese Modern Pentathlon Association (CMPA).
In Beijing, the iconic Olympic Centre at Forest Park hosted more than 500 racers. On International Children’s Day it was fitting that the majority of participants were children, and the organisers had the novel idea of running a combined event for children and their parents.
The youngest Laser Runners were accompanied by their mother or father throughout, while older children formed a team with a parent with each completing one lap.
Chinese running legend Sun Yingjie, who was world 10,000m bronze medallist in 2003 and world half-marathon champion in 2004, led a mass warm-up while celebrated rowing twins Li Tong and Li Meng were also involved.
The event attracted a lot of media attention and was streamed live with professional presentation. It was attended by politicians from the sport department of central government, representatives of the Chinese Olympic Committee and by Viacheslav Malishev, UIPM Executive Board Member for Development.
A spokesperson for the local organizing committee said: “It was wonderful to see the teamwork and determination of so many families who took part in the combined event.
“We are very grateful to the many volunteers and staff who helped us to make a success of the first Global Laser Run City Tour in China.”
In Changsha on June 8, Helong Sports Centre also managed to enable more than 500 people to enjoy their first taste of Laser Run, and again the parent-child combined race was a great success.
Cao Zhongrong, head coach of China's national pentathlon team and Olympic pentathlon silver medallist at London 2012, told everyone his motto: "If you do your best, you have won. Don't give up.”
Shen Kejian, CMPA Secretary General, said: “For all the children participating in this kind of competition, learning to commit and work hard is more important than results. We are pleased to have found and cultivated interest in Laser Run.”
A spokesperson for the local organising committee added: “Many of the parents helped to spread the message that sport helps children to learn the importance of cooperation, to experience the joy of winning and frustration of losing and to be able to stand up again.”
Li Ping, Vice Chairman of Changsha Municipal People's Political Consultative Conference and Director of Changsha Municipal Sports Bureau, attended the event.
The next GLRCT in China is approaching fast, with Shanghai hosting the latest instalment on July 6.
About 100 cities have been selected in 2019 as hosts of the GLRCT or the Biathle/Triathle National Tour. The full calendar can be viewed at the UIPM website, where you can also find more information on UIPM’s various multi-discipline sports.
In September, the UIPM Laser Run World Championships will be incorporated into the Pentathlon World Championships for the first time in Budapest (HUN), where Laser Run is also on the programme for the 1st World Urban Games.
In December, Laser Run and Triathle will both feature for the first time in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines.
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