China Uncensored: Crazy Number of Injuries in Chinese Marathon

April 6, 2016 Updated: July 8, 2016

“Running is the new religion of the Chinese middle class,” as the Financial Times puts it. I guess because the old religion was wiped out by the Red Guards.

And as anyone who’s a runner knows, this religion requires blood sacrifice! Aches and pains, swelling and inflammation, but running in China can be especially dangerous.

According to China’s Jiangsu News, “More and more events are unfolding from the Guangdong Marathon Fiasco. There were close to 20,000 participants, including 12,208 incidents of injury and sickness.”

Now don’t worry, it’s not that over half the participants were injured. Some people just had multiple injuries.

The Guangdong Marathon Fiasco, as it’s being called, was, well, kind of a fiasco.

Running is the new religion of the Chinese middle class

9838 Physical/Muscular Injuries

1743 Sprains

306 Collapsed

194 Body Scrapes

107 Abdominal Pain

20 Passed Out

17 Hospitalized

And if you think that’s a crazy amount of injuries and illness, get this. Some of the incidents were completely preventable—were it not for this.

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Orchard Fruity Soap. Now with extra moisturizer.

Those are the kind of things that probably should have been written in Chinese, so that when they were handed out to people who just finished running a marathon, they wouldn’t mistake them for energy bars—which they did.

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Clearly, there were some major organizational fails at this particular marathon. Like, not having wide enough roads for the 20,000 participants

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Or a serious lack of trash cans.

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Just look all those banana peels!

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No wonder so many people got injured!

Now the Chinese have always been a health-conscious people. In parks throughout China you’ll see people doing all kinds of exercise—Taichi, Qigong, Square Dancing. Oh man, you do not want to get on the bad side of China’s Square Dancing Grannies.

But running is a relatively new thing.

As the economy has developed, China’s growing middle class is dealing with new middle class problems. Namely—office butt.

According to the Chinese Athletics Association, there were 134 marathons held in 2015, more than double the previous year.

Marathons have become so popular that in many big cities, runners have to win lotteries to enter.

All this running has Western sportswear companies running for the Chinese market. In 2014, Adidas made more than 270 million dollars in China, and has sponsored the Beijing marathon and Shanghai Half Marathon.

And of course, it’s a great market for fruity soap.

So what do you think about the Guangdong marathon fiasco? And what’s your best, or worst marathon experience. My answer to both is North Korea’s Pyongyang Marathon.  Leave your comments below!