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Big names gather for launch of Taipei Charity Marathon

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Sports and modeling celebrities yesterday showed up at the pre-race press conference for the upcoming 2014 Taipei Standard Chartered Charity Marathon to express their support for the event.

The guests who attended the press conference included the Chinese Taipei basketball team's starting forward Tan Lei (田壘), model Shatina Chen (陳思璇), leading Taiwanese marathoners Ho Zhi-hong (何志宏) and Ho Zhi-feng (何志豐) and young golf prodigy Cheng Ssu-chia (程思嘉).

Ajay Kanwal, president and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan) Limited, said that he is proud to see the first Standard Chartered marathon held in Taiwan, which will take place on Feb. 23.

“We are delighted to see that 36,000 enthusiastic runners from 43 different countries, including nearly 200 visually impaired runners, have registered for the 2014 Taipei Standard Chartered Charity Marathon, which features a brand new race route,” said Kanwal.

Commissioner of the Department of Sports of Taipei City Ho Chin-liang (何金樑) said that he is thrilled to see the Standard Chartered marathon gather runners from all over the world, which facilitates sports exchanges across countries and raises Taiwan's visibility on a global level.

Danny Tsao (曹爾忠), head of the Chinese Taipei Road Running Association, said that the staff and association of Standard Chartered have made all preparations, from roadside supplies to vehicles that will ship runners' personal belongings from the start point to the destination.

Both marathoners Ho Zhi-hong and Ho Zhi-feng said that they are excited about joining the Standard Chartered marathon and to challenge the new route together with all runners on Feb. 23.

Cheng, who came in first in the national amateur golf championship, said that she is grateful for Standard Chartered's support of amateur golf in Taiwan, and the combination of exercise and charity is a great way to get people to act on their athletic and charitable wishes.

Both Tan and Chen will join the 3K run to set an example and get more Taiwanese to exercise while supporting charities at the same time.

According to the event organizer, the races include full marathon (42.195 kilometers), half marathon (21.0975 kilometers), an 8.5-kilometer race, a 3- kilometer race and the family friendly 1-kilometer race. The 36,000 runners will start off in front of the Presidential Office this Sunday.

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36,000 runners representing 43 different countries, including nearly 200 visually impaired runners, have registered for the 2014 Taipei Standard Chartered Charity Marathon, which features a brand new race route.

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