VIENTIANE, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- More than 3,000 amateur and professional runners are expected to line up for the third Vientiane International Half Marathon on March 4, local daily the Vientiane Times reported on Friday.
The event has quickly established itself on the region's long distance running calendar, with 1,600 competitors taking part in the first half-marathon in 2016 and 2,200 for last year's second edition.
The number of starters was announced at the half marathon's press conference in the Laotian capital of Vientiane on Wednesday.
The third Vientiane International Half Marathon will start at Vientiane That Luang esplanade before making its way along many prominent avenues and past iconic landmarks before returning to the finish line at That Luang. The marathon will comprise men's and women's 21km, 10.5km and 5km events.
The goal of the expending major annual event was to encourage physical fitness and long distance running in Laos as well as to promote Visit Laos Year 2018, the organizer said.
"The half marathon will be a good experience for all Lao runners taking part as they test themselves against the foreign competitors," President of Lao Amateur Athletics Federation, Chandee Phommabood said on Wednesday.
The first to fifth-placed man and women in the 21km and 10.5km events will receive cash prizes from the organizers.