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tv   Asia Insight  LINKTV  December 23, 2019 5:00pm-5:31pm PST

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since i was born, life was not good. china is trying to inspire outside of china. i'm trying to make my life
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better through running. >> the number of marathons held in china is currently surging. runners from africa flood into the nation seeking to win prize money. but the races can be unpredictable. a good agent i key to taking home prize money. >> i saw he doesn't care about you. he cares about the money.
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>> this episodes follows african runners trying to finish first in china's cash marathons. these marathon runners flew all the wie from ethiopia to china to for a month earning money from races. their agent takes care of them in the country.
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some of the athletes have just gotten their start runnining professionally. for many, china is a great place to gain experience due to the large number of races held. while preparing for the events, runners live here together. the african runners take turns staying in the dorm. many have lodged here before. the location is a small village in the suburbs.
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my parents were not getting enough money to educate us. because of that, that's why i decided to get into sports because without an education in kenya, there is no way you can get a job. >> chen manages runners and organizes marathons for profit. in the three years since launching his company, he has organized seven races. chen was once a top marathon
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runner in china. racing along side african runners, he realized how strong they were.
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it is made of corn and powder heated in hot water. eating right and staying healthy are top priority for athletes running rigorous marathons. african runners maintain their local diet even in china. runners enter about four races
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over the span of a month. chen decides who runs in which race. he consideders their condition d past accomplishmenents and plal them in events that could earn them prize momoney. he pays in advance for high cost. if his runners don't win, chen risks suffering financial losses.
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>> runners are responsible for reaching the host cities on their own.
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in this city they will be running just two days from now. ♪ the race itself is organized by chen. ♪
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now in its fourth year, the race has become a major event involving the entire town. >> local governments all over china are now focussing on the economic effects of marathons. the number of races has jumped 20-fold in three years.
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but some races have ruined reputations with problems such as organizers being ill-prepared for participants violating rules. ♪
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this year's course is a brand new one. >> this is about 5 -- >> because the unpredictable course involves numerous risks, chen urges everyone to run
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carefully. dennis and the others don't seem to be listening carefully. >> on the day of the event, runners gather from all over china. more than 2,000 runners take part in the event.
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>> the race is about to begin. the prize for winning is $900.
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runners have to ensure their own safety on the course. the leading runner is a gym teacher.
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dennis follows chen's instructions and holds back his speed. jumping into the lead is a sheep herder who earns prize money in races all over china. after running just one fourth of
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the race, dennis and daniel suddenly pick up speed. they ignore chen's instructions to follow behind the chinese runners until the last five kilometers. they maintain a good distance from the other runners. the course now enters its mountain section.
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daniel begins to fall behind. his feet grow sore. i ran in these for two use in south korea. it's very weak. . ii got this in china. in the first race.
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>> family pressure weighs heavily on daniel's feet. suddenly, the route changes to a path lined with rocks and pebbles. this is the rough road chen had worried about. it's the start of the mountain route that is far tougher than any of them imagined.
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>> the sudden change in temperatures pushes their bodies to the limit. all l the same, they manage to pass the turn around point. lesskilometers remain until the goal, but the same mountain path stands before them.
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>> the first to reach the goal are chinenese runners. in first place is the gym teacher. the sheep herder comes in second.
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dennis comes in third, 20 minutes behind the top runner. exhausted, he had to stop at the last turn around point.
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>> daniel came in fourth. he tripped on a stone midway down the mountain and fell. the award for fourth place was just $70.
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the runners' take home money i the prize money after deducted 15% commission for chen and the cost of air fare and accommodationsns. due too his injury, daniel was unable too run in races later i the month. he ran just t three racaces and a total of around $500 u.s. after deducting costs, he ended up w with losses of $650.
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>> dennis ended up $1,000 ahead. >> it's a little money, but it's going to boost my training so i can achieve the next level. two weeks ago, i ran my personal best, two hours, 13 minutes. and i'm hoping maybe i can find a good agent.
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someone who will connect me to races in europe. so china is like building up.
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>> five men are sentenced to death for the murder of jamal khashoggi. the trial als mockery of justice. hello. this is al jazeera, live from doha. year for, a disastrtrous aftereing ceo, forced out the crashes of two 737 max jets. india's opposition party steps up the pressure on prime minister modi. volurs


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