New Year’s Day is becoming known as a sports day in Suzhou, with over ten thousand people involved in various sports throughout the city on the first day of the year.
Despite the high air pollution, thousands of runners participated in the 20th New Year’s Day Long Distance Run. The route began and ended at the Sports Center Stadium, taking in Xihuan Road, Ganjiang Road, Tongjing Road and Sanxiang Road. The total distance was 4km with runners who finished the whole route eligible for prizes such as TV sets, fridges and cell phones.
Over one thousand citizens walked 10km in the fourth New Year’s Day hill walking activity at Qionglong Hill. Swimming also attracted some brave people on New Year’s Day. Over 280 swimmers participated in a 4x50 meter relay race as well as a long distance swimming event. There are over 250 registered winter swimmers in Suzhou and over 600 people often swim in winter.