BISHKEK, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The IX International Issyk-Kul Marathon of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) "Run the Silk Road" started Saturday in Cholpon-Ata, the resort town, which is in the north of Kyrgyzstan.
The start of the marathon was given by the President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov, his press service reported.
The head of Kyrgyzstan in his speech said that the aim of the marathon is to promote a healthy lifestyle, to familiarize the population with regular physical education and sports.
"In addition, sports events strengthen cooperation between the SCO member states, which contributes to the development of tourism and international friendly sports ties, and also identifies the strongest marathon runners in the region," he said.
The Kyrgyz president also noted that in 2021 the SCO Issyk-Kul Marathon was included in the Label Road Races calendar published by World Athletics, which includes 191 marathons in 49 countries on six continents of the world.
Zhaparov wished the participants of the race success.
Representatives from 30 countries and regions of the world take part in the race. In total, about 2,500 participants were registered.
Within the framework of the marathon, races are planned for different distances - the marathon - 42km, the half marathon - 21km, and the Scandinavian walk - 10km, 3km.
The total prize fund for 42km and 21km is about 12,300 US dollars.
At the end of 2020, the SCO Issyk-Kul Marathon was recognized as licensed and the athletes who fulfilled the SCO marathon standards will receive licenses for the World Championship, Olympic and Asian Games.