Character National
Title Kinmen Marathon
Introduction The island of Kinmen is located beyond the Kowloon estuary. Narrow in the center, it broadens to the east and west and is truly shaped like a Chinese golden ingot. In the distance is the mouth of Xiamen Bay, and although it is 210 km from the main island of Taiwan, because of its geography, it can defend Zhangzhou and Xiamen on the mainland and control Taiwan and the Pescadores offshore. Once described as “strong as a moat made of metal (kin) safeguarding the gate (men) of the sea,” the island is aptly named “Kinmen.” Since 1949 when the Nationalist Government moved to Taiwan, Kinmen played the role of battleground for more than 50 years, the site of the military struggle of the Taiwan Strait. The island of Kinmen was covered with military fortifications and camouflaged installations with large numbers of troops on longterm deployment, making the island a “Great Wall” on the ocean protecting Taiwan. Between 1958-1979 the “823 Artillery Bombardment” (~Second Taiwan Strait Crisis) campaign marked a tense military situation that drew to a close when Mainland China published its “Declaration on the Cessation of Shelling Kinmen, Lieyu, and Other Islands.” At the same time making Kinmen, like Panmunjom and the Berlin Wall, into a symbol of the Cold War. Since 2008 when the “Kinmen Marathon,” held on this island with its military atmosphere and historical significance, got off to an early spring start, it has attracted top runners to participate. Because Kinmen’s unique atmosphere is appreciated by all, this marathon has become one of the small handful of quickly sold-out races taking place in the country. At the same time, the “Kinmen Marathon” is a race officially measured and certified by the IAAF. Long-distance runners from Taiwan and overseas run on the Kinmen boulevards, passing elegant and beautiful Minnan-style villages, breathing the fresh air, viewing traditional antiquities and folk culture, running by village streets as the local people come up to them beating gongs and drums in welcome, the runners caught up in this happy “pursuit of the wind,” each more eager than the next to better their time. We all remember how in past years during January Kinmen has always had nothing but cold weather, and because it lies close to the ocean, the winds are quite strong coming off the water. People coming to participate in the race must make careful preparation to protect themselves from the wind, and runners can, depending on circumstances, prepare some warm food to take along with them to help finish the race without difficulty.
●National Quemoy University (No.1, Daxue Rd., Jinning Township, Kinmen County) Map
Tel 886-2-25855659、886-82-313335
Organizers Kinmen County Government