Xie Zhanjun (Photo:www.dahe.cn)
On 1st May, a 32-year-old worker from Chang'an named Xie Zhanjun celebrated the International Worker's Day in a special way. He ran from his hometown in Henan Province along No.107 National Highway to Dongguan. Exceeding 2,000km, his journey lasted an entire month.
Xie said that running to Dongguan did not save him money. For the month it took to complete, Xie minimized costs by staying in the cheapest hotels, but costs still totaled approximately 4,000RMB. This is 10 times the price of a train ticket from Henan to Dongguan which is just several hundred RMB. However, Xie has a true passion for running. Fortunately, his employer was very supportive of his determination, and granted a two-month holiday. Upon completion, Xie's employer held a celebratory party to congratulate him.
In March, Xie participated in the Zhengzhou City Marathon (of Henan Province). Having completed the marathon, Xie asked his boss for another two months leave so that he could run back to Chang'an. Again supportive, his boss granted these requests.
On 1st April, Xie began the return journey. The distance between Xinxiang City (of Henan) and Dongguan is over 2,000km, so he was expected to arrive in Dongguan mid-May, should he maintain the scheduled pace of 40km per day. "But actually I ran 60km every day, so I arrived half a month earlier," said Xie. Throughout his journey, he received many offers from kind-hearted people offering him a lift, but Xie always refused. He would reply "I enjoy long-distance running. It is my wish to run from my hometown to Dongguan."
Xie's attraction for running stems from his time in middle school, where he was too short to ride a bicycle. As such, he had to run 5km to and from school every day. In May 2007, he took part in his first Marathon. In the following four years, he participated in 20 different races held in cities such as Beijing, Dalian and Guangzhou.
(By Tan Jing)