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Record of 45,000 runners to join 2012 Taipei Marathon

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A new high of more than 45,000 runners from around the world will take part in the 2012 Fubon Taipei Marathon, which will kick off 7 a.m. tomorrow at the Citizen Square in front of Taipei City Hall.

In addition to local athletes, more than 20 top-level international runners will participate in the marathon sponsored by Fubon Financial Holding Co. and Fubon Insurance in conjunction with the Department of Sports under the Taipei City Government and the Chinese Taipei Road Running Association (CTRRA).

The international participants include former winners of races held in Taiwan and those who have clocked in excellent performances in past marathons.

The well-known names in the men's division include Evans Kipkogei Ruto, Francis Kipkoech Bowen and Yusuf Chango Chebii Songoka. The leading female runners include Helena Losyanyang Kirop and Caroline Cheptonui Kilel.

Tsai Ming-chung, chairman of Fubon Financial Holding Co., has announced a plan to continue supporting the international event for at least three more years to 2015.

Aside from helping to cultivate more indigenous runners in Taiwan in the full-marathon category, Tsai said, international sports events like the Taipei Marathon inspire people to challenge themselves to better themselves and reach their life goals.

Tsai, who personally took part in the 3-kilometer fun run in the past three races, will switch to the 9-km category for the first time this year.

He encouraged more people to join outdoor activities like jogging and running to strengthen their bodies and realize the real spirit of sportsmanship.

There will be large armies of cheerleaders and volunteers on hand to cheer on the runners and provide safety and logistics services. Funds will also be raised for charities.

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