Macau Marathon route this year to cross’old bridge’

The route of the annual marathon, which is in its 35th year, taking place on December 4, will cross the

The route of the annual marathon, which is in its 35th year, taking place on December 4, will cross the Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge, commonly known as the ‘old bridge’, again after a hiatus of around two decades, it was announced on Wednesday.

The Sports Bureau (ID) held a cheque presentation ceremony with Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) on Wednesday at Galaxy Macau in Cotai where the gaming operator signed up once again to be the sporting event’s title sponsor.

ID President Pun Weng Kun said during the ceremony that the bureau has increased the maximum number of participants for the marathon to 10,000 this year from 8,000 last year because of the event’s popularity.

According to Pun, the maximum number of registrations for the full marathon this year will be 1,400, for the half marathon 4,600 and for the mini marathon 5,000. Registration begins on Saturday.

The full marathon covers 42.195 kilometres, the half marathon covers 21.0975 kilometres and the mini marathon covers 5.5 kilometres.

The route starts and finishes at the Macau Stadium and comprises Taipa, the peninsula and Coloane. Sports Bureau (ID) President Pun Weng Kun (right) and Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) Director Philip Cheng Yee Sing shake hands during yesterday’s cheque presentation ceremony held at Galaxy Macau in Cotai.

Pun said the bureau has raised this year’s total prize money to 2.16 million patacas to give athletes more encouragement to break records.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ceremony, ID Vice President Christine Lam Lin Kio said that this year’s budget amounted to 13 million patacas, of which GEG was sponsoring 7.5 million patacas.

Lam said the bureau had chosen the ‘old bridge’ to be included in the marathon’s routes because it wanted to offer athletes something new in the annual event.

“Before the Friendship Bridge was built, the marathon used to cross the Macau-Taipa Bridge [the ‘old bridge’] so, yes, it’s been a long time,” Lam said, pointing out that after the Friendship Bridge and Sai Van Bridge were built, the marathon course stopped including the ‘old bridge’.

Opened in 1974, the Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge was the first bridge connecting the peninsula and Taipa. Friendship Bridge, which opened in 1994, was the second bridge connecting the southeast side of the peninsula and the north side of Taipa. Sai Van Bridge, opened in 2004, is the third bridge to connect the peninsula in the south-west and Taipa in the west.

Since 2005-2006, private vehicles have been banned from crossing the Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge, and only public transport and authorised vehicles are allowed.

Sports Bureau (ID) Vice President Christine Lam Lin Kio speaks to reporters on the sidelines of Wednesday marathon cheque presentation ceremony held at Galaxy Macau.

Lam said that in order to minimise the impact on traffic, the ‘old bridge’ would only be closed when athletes were running across it and would re-open for public transport once all athletes had completed that part of the race.

“We hope to close it just for one hour but it depends on the situation then,” Lam said, adding that closing the bridge was necessary for the safety of the athletes but the organisers would keep the time as short as possible, in order not to impact vehicular traffic too much.(Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)