BJU launches storytelling activity for Beijing Marathon fans

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/14 17:58:39

The official health service partner of the Beijing Marathon, leading local international health service provider Beijing United Family Hospital (BJU) has launched a storytelling activity, asking fitness enthusiasts to write a true story about their experience participating in marathons. A selection of the submitted stories will be posted on the BJU's official WeChat account, and the authors of the top 10 most liked stories will be awarded free entry into the upcoming Beijing Marathon on September 17. The following are some of the stories.

A father and son's marathon story

By Xinxin

My name is Xinxin. I'm almost three years old. Believe it or not, I have been to many cities in China with my mom and dad and have participated in several marathons. My dad always says how fast he runs does not matter, not as much as crossing the finish line with me.

I finished my first marathon with my dad on September 20, 2015. I was less than 10 months old at the time. My mom put me in a Superman T-shirt, and we waited beside the track. Hours passed, and it was already noon when a man ran toward me bathed in sweat. I was scared and started to cry, but then I realized that it was my dad. He took me into his arms and ran toward the finish line.

"It is an honor to participate in the Beijing Marathon, but what's more amazing is that I finished it with my son," dad said after the race. "There was only joy in my heart at that moment." The three of us took a picture together, and my dad wrote a giant "Nailed it!" on it.

I was 22 months old when the 36th Beijing Marathon opened on September 17, 2016. I dressed as Batman for the event. I finished the race more calmly compared with the previous year and collected my second medal with my dad. Afterward, dad told me, "My dear son, this is your second Beijing Marathon medal. I hope that I can run with you every year before your birthday. When we get 18 of them, I will give all of them to you as a present to mark your entry into adulthood."

Xinxin and his father Cao Yang Photo: Courtesy of Cao Yang

How a bet ransformed my life

By Wang Lei

A colleague of mine once asked me, "Hey, aren't you a fan of Jason Statham? He made a bet with someone at his gym to finish a full marathon. And guess what, he did it within four hours!"

I replied, "Okay, then I'll go and give it a try, too."

I began my journey in marathon running with a bet, and it changed me a lot more than I thought it would.

I was a lonely and highly-disciplined guy. I didn't talk too much. I worked hard every day, built my body at the gym and fell asleep as soon as I arrived home. I kept to myself.

I signed up for the Beijing Marathon in 2015 after making the bet with my colleague. I changed my gym workout plan, adjusted the ratio of anaerobic to aerobic exercise to 1:2, and began to do long slow distance (LSD) runs at the Olympic Forest Park on weekends. I also ran Yasso 800s (10 800-meter interval runs) every two weeks.

I finished the entire training plan. As I said, I am a highly-disciplined guy. However, discipline gives me confidence, but it cannot drive away loneliness. What truly changed me were the runners I met.

The runners at the Olympic Forest Park loved to smile and gave each other a thumbs up as encouragement. Gradually, I developed a habit of telling jokes whenever I was tired and my legs were heavy.

As time went by, I became friends with a lot of the runners in the group, and they all enjoyed running with me. Can you believe that? Even a cold guy like me could be a joke teller.

Thanks to the warmth of all the runners I met, I began to enjoy running. I would be hopeful when I run uphill and would let myself go when I run downhill. It was like I was a bird flying. Finally, the sad emotions all went away. I think what I feel now is called happiness.

I still remember how I felt when people I did not know handed me a beer to congratulate me after I finished my first marathon in 2015. All I can think of these days is whether I will tell jokes to tired runners in the Beijing Marathon 2017 to encourage  them like the people I met over the years have helped me.


Wang Lei Photo: Courtesy of Wang Lei

Running is like balm for the spirit

By Zhang Xinglong

In 2012, I signed up for a mini marathon. I ran 19 kilometers and was in pain for almost two weeks afterward. I believed then that it would be the longest distance I would ever run.

However, in 2015, someone really important to me left the world, and I started running again to cope with it. When I ran, I would focus on the street lamps, the birds and the flowers along the road. I would clear my mind and let go of whatever I was feeling. As the famous writer Zhou Guoping once said, you must bear the gash in your heart and body all by yourself.

That year, I finished my first full marathon in Beijing. I went on to gain 14 marathon medals in 2016. Still, I was not cured. I was still sensitive, lonely and miserable inside. However, gradually, I learned how to bear it. I am better at it now. Although I couldn't get rid of the cage of fate, I could forgive the world. Thank you, marathon. Every kilometer has been a magical balm for me.

There are a thousand marathons in a thousand people's eyes. Even when running along the same road with others, you may see desolation, while others see beautiful scenery. I learned that the significance of life lies in continuity, which echoes with the marathon spirit.

Zhang Xinglong during a marathon Photo: Courtesy of Zhang Xinglong




blog comments powered by Disqus