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Technology was introduced to this year"s Xi"an City Wall International Marathon, an annual State-level mass sports activity, giving the event even greater appeal.
The race, established in 1993, started Saturday morning on the 600-year-old city wall with a 13.74-kilometer run around the central part of Xi"an, the capital of Shaanxi province. The event attracted more than 5,000 athletes from China, as well as other 31 countries and regions.
Participants were enticed by the interactive science and technology display, which showed a number of technological achievements.
According to the organizer of the display, the area"s first appearance at the 23-year-old event had the purpose of attracting people with new and interesting experiences of science and demonstrations of technology.
"We hope common people learn about the development and construction of Xi"an as a capital of hard science and technology by participating in high-tech programs in the area," the organizer said.
Every runner who completed the race got a unique certificate – the world"s only fully traceable digital race certificate.
Tang Ling, CEO of Zig-Ledger Technology, the company that created the digital certificate, said the world"s first blockchain race certificate had two versions in Chinese and English, which were packed and recorded on the blockchain network.
"The detailed data of the blockchain marathon certificate includes the athlete"s name, item, race number and result, which will be permanently saved and can only be read, without tampering and deleting," Tang said.
Zig-Ledger Technology set up a Node Blockchain Accelerator in Xi"an Innovation Design Center, a government-promoted facility for high-tech development. The accelerator aims to promote blockchain technology in Xi"an for financial services, credit and ownership/obligation management, shared economy, trade management and the internet of things in order to establish a more secure, convenient and circulated ecosystem to provide strong support for the development of blockchain industry to a higher level.
During the event, participants also experienced VR baseball under the guidance of Bu Tao, an internationally recognized athlete and the former pitcher for the Chinese National baseball team.
Bu, born in Xi"an, established a baseball club in his hometown aiming to train more athletes for baseball in the city and country, saying the technology, was a great way to promote and popularize baseball among ordinary people.