Chinese go the distance for marathon

Updated: 2015-11-02 12:00

By Hezi Jiang in New York(China Daily USA)

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 Chinese go the distance for marathon

Sun Yingjie, one of China's most famous female long-distance runners, poses for a photo with Chinese runners.

"In Singapore, when I ran toward the finish line, the host said, 'This is the first Asian runner we are seeing. He is Chinese, from Yunnan Chuxiong, Liangwu Ma.' I cried," he said. "That's the first time I feel that I'm running for China," he said on Oct 31 at the Hyatt. Now, he drapes a flag on his back every time.

"Because I don't speak English, and the New York City Marathon is rather complicated, I bought the Marathon package," he said. "We don't have much money, but my wife said she will support me as long as we still have money to live a life. I keep thinking that every second I'm here is a lot of money. It makes me cherish it more."

"We want to show that not all Chinese come to gamble in Vegas. Not everyone come to buy bags. We are here to pursue a healthy life. We run. We carry our national flag," said Tian. "There used to be Ping Pong Diplomacy; now we want marathon communication. I hope soon we can have 1,000 Chinese runners participating in the New York City Marathon."

Everyone mentioned in the story finished the race.

Runners from Kenya took both the women's and men's competitions. Mary Keitany, 33, became the first woman to repeat in New York since 2008 while Stanley Biwott, 29, won his first major marathon title after finishing second in London last year.