Zhangjiakou will co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics with Beijing ©Beijing 2022

More than 5,000 people took part in the Zhangjiakou International Half Marathon in preparation for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

The event, which was entitled “Running to 2022”, started at the Zhangjiakou International Exhibition Centre in Hebei and was the first marathon event held in the city.

The half marathon was part of Zhangjiakou’s, which is co-hosting the 2022 Games with Beijing, efforts to promote a sporting culture within the city.

Prior to the half marathon, they built a sports city and also held several other sporting events including the Asian Snowboarding League and the national ski snowboard parallel rotation.

The city has also hosted road cycling and a rally car championships.

The half marathon also allowed local authorities to assess various aspects of the city’s ability to hold large-scale events, including emergency response times.

Additionally, the city of Zhangjiakou are said to be focusing on the ecological impact of the Games and have recently built water conservation zone.

It has also been announced that Zhangjiakou are embarking on an afforestation programme which will involve more than 2.4 million people and should achieve a forest coverage rate of 50 per cent by 2022.

The Zhangjiakou cluster will be home to eight competition and non-competition venues during the Games.