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Ice marathon in China's 'pole of cold'


An ice and snow marathon commenced in China’s “pole of cold” — Genhe city of Inner Mongolia on Dec 25, bringing nearly 1,000 runners from across 14 provinces and cities to experience running with temperatures below 40 C.

The event co-hosted by Hulunbuir sports bureau, Genhe people’s government, and Beijing Longtengaosai Sports Development Company, contained half marathon, a 5km run, hiking and a 100m race of reindeer pulling sleighs. 

Bi Fengyang crossed the finish line first with a time of 1:14:57, setting a new tournament record. In women’s half marathon, Li Xin took first with 1:31:31. 

“In the past few years, Genhe has gradually transformed and upgraded its economic and social structure through combining tourism with sports,” said Hu Zhaomin, mayor of Genhe city. “The place has successively organized summer and winter marathon events, drawing a lot of attention from other parts of the country,” add Hu.

As China’s pole of cold, Genhe is located at the latitude of 50 to 52 degrees north, west of the Greater Hinggan Mountains. Despite being slightly lower than China’s north pole” — Mohe county in latitude, Genhe sits at a higher altitude, making it the coldest place in China.

Its yearly average temperature is below 5.3 degrees Celsius, with recorded highest temperature hitting below 58 degrees Celsius. The ice-bound season usually lasts for 210 days every year.


Runner Bi Fengyang braves the cold during the 2017 Pole of Cold Ice Marathon of China in Genhe city, Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Dec 25. [Photo/sport.gov.cn]

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