01 April 2016, 7am
Taipei Standard Chartered Charity Marathon
Sun 24 January 2016
It was the third edition of this particular race which has already grown to be Taiwan’s biggest running event. Not only does it have the largest number of runners and of nationalities competing, it also has the most visually impaired participants. “Seeing is believing” is the banner under which Standard Chartered directs its charitable efforts towards improving life for the visually impaired. From the first edition in 2015 the race has recorded very high levels of runner satisfaction: 91% of them were satisfied with the overall arrangement of the race and around 96% of them expressed the intention to register for the race the following year. The race has established itself as a premium international Marathon and the most charitable in Chinese Taipei.
Apart from the standard full marathon there are other options which include a half marathon, a 10km run, a 3km leisure run and a 2km ‘Leader’s Cup’ suitable for runners of all ages and fitness levels. After starting at the Presidential Office Plaza runners pass by many significant spots along the race route such as the Jin-Fu Men Monument, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Grand Hotel, the Martyrs’ Shrine, and the Neihu Science Park before finishing at the Dai-Jia Riverside Park. The Park is a place local residents use for doing exercises and casual activities but after the runners finish it becomes the scene of the race carnival. All runners are welcome to bring their friends and families to join the carnival and to see the live bands performing, the award ceremony, the lucky draw and to take photos to share their memorable moments.
This year 200 visually impaired runners joined the race and experienced all the joy that running could create. Moreover, under the organisers’ initiative and with their assistance, 20 visually-impaired people served as working staff on race day and proved their capabilities.
Standard Chartered Bank initiated the Visually Impaired Corporate Advisory Council and from May 2013 called upon Chunghwa Telecom, Jardines Group, Fubon Culture and Education Foundation, Audi Automobile Taiwan, and HP Taiwan to support job placement of the visually impaired. The goal was to combine and integrate resources from corporates, Government, and NGO to create jobs. Supported by the Taipei Parents’ Association for the Visually Impaired, Eden Social Welfare Foundation, and Technology Development Association for the Disabled, the “Standard Chartered Seeing is Believing Visually Impaired Employment Platform” was set up to demonstrate the joint efforts among public and private sectors, as well as non-profits, to support job placements of the visually impaired. As a direct result more than 250 visually impaired workers have been successfully employed since 2013.
In the 2016 race, to enhance the awareness of finding job placements for visually impaired people, Standard Chartered Bank initiated a social network campaign called “Hear the Love”. The idea was to encourage the public to record videos containing their cheers for visually impaired people. Vice President Duyn-Yi Wu and Taipei City Mayor Wen-Che Ke recorded their own cheers right at the start of the campaign. The initiative received positive feedback from the public: the famous actress Puff Kuo and the baseball player Kuo-Hui Kao recorded videos and they both joined the run for their first time. Ten of the Taiwanese athletes who are bound for the 2016 Olympics recorded their cheers to all runners and broadcast them on the event’s Facebook page.
The Bank also recruited cheering squads made up of bank employees and college student volunteers to line up along the race route to add spirit to the event so that they can make great strides for hope and for the future.
Taipei Standard Chartered Charity Marathon is held at the end of January or early in February every year, which is normally just prior to Chinese Lunar New Year.