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Medals go to foreign nationals in Chiaming Lake 'road race'

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Three foreign nationals yesterday took home the gold, silver and bronze medals for the renamed Chiaming Lake road race, with the gold medal contestant completing the event in three hours and 53 minutes.

Organized by the Taiwan Ultimate Ironman Association (台灣極限鐵人協會), the Taiwan Marathon Association (台灣路跑馬拉松協會) and a local sports promotion company, the event initially gained widespread attention as a result of the Forestry Bureau's opposition to the race. The bureau's opposition stems from the event's potential harm to the natural beauty of the venue as well as the potential danger facing participants.

In response, organizers reportedly changed the event from the “Chiaming Lake Road Race” to the “Chiaming Lake Hike,” so as to promote event safety and to satisfy the demands of the bureau. However, none of the details of the events were altered.

Fifty-two participants from around the globe reportedly signed up at the local police station on Friday night to participate in the 28.2-kilometer race. The event began on time at 5 a.m. yesterday, with a participant from the Czech Republic with the first name Petr appearing first at the finish line at 8:53 a.m.

Allegedly, Petr's appearance shocked event staff, who asked him what had happened, with the participant responding that he had completed the race. Staff members reportedly claimed that the contestant looked completely relaxed, as though he had just completed a warm-up exercise.

The second participant to arrive at the destination was a woman from New Zealand with the first name Ruth, who completed the event four minutes after Petr. The contestant who took third place was also a foreigner with the first name Alexander who completed the event in four hours and 39 minutes.

When interviewed by local press, Fu Chi-yu (傅祺育), an organizer of the event, stated that the 28.2-kilometer round-trip covers locations between 2300 and 3310 meters above sea level. Normal hikers would take two days and a night to complete the hike, with regular hikers taking six to seven hours. The two foreigners who completed the event in under four hours have established a new record, Fu said.

The best time for local participants was established by participant Lin Hsiao-ying (林曉鶯), who completed the event in 5 hours and 25 minutes. Reportedly, Lin decided to continue running in the spirit of the 42-kilometer requirement of regular marathons.

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The Chiaming Lake was designated as the venue of the Chiaming Lake road race event. In response to opposition from the Forestry Bureau, organizers reportedly changed the event from the “Chiaming Lake Road Race” to the “Chiaming Lake Hike.” (CNA)



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