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Talk of the day - Runner survives ultramarathon through deserts

2011/09/17 17:01:10

The 35-year-old Taiwanese ultramarathon runner Kevin Lin arrived in the ancient Chinese city of Xi'an in Shaanxi Province Sept. 16, running through the 10,000-kilometer Silk Road in 150 days.

Lin made history by becoming the first person in modern times to run across two major desert regions on Earth, including the Sahara Desert that spans 7,500 km on North Africa.

The following are excerpts of local newspapers' coverage on Lin's latest achievement: China Times:

At around noon Friday, Lin and Chinese runner Bai Bin looked at each other with tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces after entering Xi'an.

"We did it!" Lin exclaimed.

"It is remarkable that in the heart of humans, there is a spirit of not wanting to give up," Lin said.

A four-runner team headed by Lin kicked off the adventurous expedition, titled "Running the Silk Road," in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 20. They jogged through Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan before reaching China's Xi'an. During the journey, which was full of physical challenges that tested their endurance and stress tolerance, two members quit.

Recalling the voyage, Lin appeared to choke up with emotion. He said the team had been stopped by armored vehicles during gunfire exchanges between the Turkish governmental army and Kurdish rebels. He and Bai also suffered poisoning in Iran, which caused them to fall into an unconsciousness state. They were rushed to a hospital for emergency treatment.

Lin said he and Bai had endured great pain on their bodies most of time on the road. They faced bitter snow storms, strong wind, desert sand storms, torrential rains, high mountains, and hot temperatures of as much as 50 degrees Celsius. He described the pain on his kneesand ankles as "driving a screw into the bone that hurts."

In addition, there was the constant mental struggle of whether they should just give up, said Lin.

Laughter on the faces of village people who welcomed their arrival along the way was "the pain killer," he recalled.

The expedition was jointly initiated by Lin, popular pop singer Jay Chou and Steve Chang, chairman of Cybermart International Holding Co., to bring attention to issues surrounding water shortage and ecological sustainability. (Sept. 17, 2011).

United Daily News:

"Running the Silk Road" had only one goal -- calling on the protection of natural resources on Earth, including water.

Lin and his teammate Bai Bin were escorted by 10 Taiwanese runners in the last 14 km of their run. Lin said he was tremendously excitedafter completing the whole quest. (Sept. 17, 2011).

(By Elizabeth Hsu)