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Pic story of 63-year-old Chinese marathon runner

(Xinhua)    09:55, August 07, 2019

(SP)CHINA-JILIN-CHANGCHUN-RUNNING-MARATHON RUNNER(CN)

Tall and thin, with an obvious beard and a striking flowery cotton-padded red jacket, 63-year-old Xi Zhanyu cut a distinctive figure running in the field in rural Taku village, near China's northeastern city of Changchun. "The clothes belonged to my late wife Xia Shuyun. I wanted to run with her." Xi said. In 2015, Xia was diagnosed with lung cancer. When she passed away, Xia felt he still had much to achieve. "Then I began running to see whether it would bring me any comfort," he said. From then on, every day, rain or shine, villagers would see Xi running from Taku to the neighboring village seven kilometers away. Running helped lift him out of his sorrows. At the first Changchun International Marathon in 2017, Xi participated wearing his wife's jacket for the first time. Ever since then, Xi's many marathon appearances have been characterized by this distinctive jacket. Now, wherever Xi goes, he feels accompanied by his wife. The more he runs, the happier he becomes, and the more he wants to run. "In 2021, I will run across many provinces in China to welcome the coming of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games." Xi said. Copy photo taken on Aug. 5, 2019 shows Xi Zhanyu running in east China's Anhui Province in 2008. In 2007, during the build up to the Beijing Olympic Games, Xi Zhanyu took on the mammoth task of running 12,000kms in 16 provinces to promote the games. (Xinhua/Zhang Nan)


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