Marathon runners urinate against the palace wall of Beijing's Forbidden City during the Beijing International Marathon on Sunday, October 20, 2013, in Beijing. [Photo: Weibo.com]
Pictures of Beijing Marathon runners gathering along the palace wall of the Forbidden City to urinate caused a heated discussion online Sunday.
Around 30,000 participants in colorful sportswear attended this year's Beijing International Marathon on Sunday. Pictures showing many runners gathered during the run to urinate against the palace wall of Beijing's Forbidden City spread online after the event.
An anonymous female runner who participate the event said some participants ran directly for the wall to urinate not long after the start of the race. She added that she saw this happen frequently throughout the marathon.
Another female runner who didn't give her name said that there were too few toilets at rest stations, causing long lines to form and costing runners up to six minutes. Often, toilets designated for women were occupied by male runners.
One repeat participant, identified simply as Zhou, said that runners in the Beijing Marathon had a tradition of collectively urinating at least once during the run; he added that it happened almost every year.
Another runner, identified as Hu, echoed Zhou's opinion, also saying that and many runners at the Beijing Marathon pee in public just for fun.
Citizens in Beijing shared their opinions on the public urination displayed during the event.
Some said that, while urination on the grass is understandable, peeing on a cultural heritage site is unacceptable. Other said that more temporary toilets should be provided during such events, along with high-quality services and a civilized atmosphere.
While the marathon's organizing committee alleged that all drinking stations and portable toilets are set in accordance with the related standard for the event, no information on these standards can be found on the event's official website.
The first Beijing marathon event was held in 1981.