On 31 December 2017, the Second SCO International Marathon will be held in Kunming, known as the city of eternal spring, the capital of the Chinese Province of Yunnan. The SCO Heads of Government welcomed the international festival of runners in their joint Communiqué as they gathered in Sochi for the first time in the format of the Eurasian Eight on 30 November-1 December 2017.
At present, preparations for the marathon have entered the final stage, and on the eve of 2018 we will witness a unique mass athletic and cultural event that will meet the world's top organisational standards.
The SCO International Marathon Organising Committee has been operating efficiently for several months. The SCO Secretariat alongside the Organising Committee pays close attention to all the details of preparing and holding this important athletic event: ambulances with experienced doctors will be engaged, a whole army of volunteers will do their best to ensure the comfort of athletes and participants, and a special focus will be given to security matters.
As of today, over 16,000 people have registered for the SCO Marathon. The figure already exceeds last year's figure, which testifies to huge interest from professional athletes and healthy living fans around the world.
On the eve of the SCO Marathon and on its day Kunming will host concerts and other cultural and entertainment events. On 30 December, a special venue will be arranged for teaching running techniques and exercises. There will also be an international forum on teaching physical education and developing sports in the SCO space.
All the distances of the marathon lie along the picturesque historical part of the city, located in the valley surrounded by mountains along the shore of serene Dianchi Lake, which ranks sixth among China's largest lakes.
The SCO Marathon will become a vivid and unforgettable athletic event called to once again stress the major humanitarian principles of the SCO philosophy: peace and friendship among peoples, rapprochement and mutual enrichment of cultures and civilisations, and the unity and spiritual bonds of the SCO family.
The SCO Marathon is held by the SCO Secretariat in collaboration with the authorities of the Yunnan Province and the city of Kunming with support from partner companies and volunteers.
The first SCO Marathon was held on 17 December 2016 to become a large-scale cultural and athletic event with 15,000 participants from 23 countries.