Chinese Marathon Runners Eat Soap by Mistake

Chinese Marathon Runners Eat Soap
Thousands of runners in China's marathon on March 27, 2016 bit into soap, thinking it was an energy bar. Twitter/ @BBCWorld

Twenty thousand runners at the Qingyuan marathon in south China's Guangdong province on Sunday made the mistake of biting into a bar of soap, thinking it was an energy bar, reports BBC News.

Shortly after crossing the finish line, participants were given goodie bags, but because the soap packaging was written in English, the athletes wrongly assumed it was a nutritious snack.

 

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Organisers of the 26-mile race apologized for the misunderstanding, which they took responsibility for: "The packs of soap were indeed like food packaging. It is a negligent mistake on our part," an official told the Yangtse Evening Post.

Witnesses saw many bars of soap, all with one bite missing were discarded at the roadside according to the People's Daily newspaper.

The organisers of last Sunday's race were quick to apologise. "The packs of soap were indeed like food packaging. It is a negligent mistake on our part," an official told Yangtse Evening Post.

Over 12,000 runners required medical treatment for 10,000 muscle spasms and 1,700 sprains, the Wall Street Journal reports. It is unclear how many incidents were the result of athletes eating soap.

Chinese social media users poked fun at the runners who fell victim to the mix up. One Weibo user wrote: "More than 10,000 people together eat soap. China is a land full of wonders". "Now you know the importance of learning English," wrote another.