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Photos: Thousands of people participate in Beijing Marathon

Thousands of people took to the streets of China’s capital on Sunday for the return of the Beijing Marathon after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

Authorities are trying to restore a sense of normalcy while sticking to a “COVID zero” strategy that locks down neighborhoods when virus cases are found and quarantines all arrivals from abroad in hotels for seven to 10 days.

Participation was limited to residents of the city, except for some invited runners. China’s state media said 30,000 people took part in the event that began under smog-filled skies in central Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Participants had to be vaccinated, not leave Beijing for seven days before the event, and had to take PCR tests for three days before the race.

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Marathons are also planned later this month in Shanghai and Chengdu.

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