Chinese couple with combined age of 163 has run over 100 marathon races

(People's Daily Online) 10:12, February 08, 2024

(Photo/Screenshot from a video released by CCTV News)

A couple in Hefei, east China's Anhui Province, has participated in over 100 marathon races nationwide, despite having a combined age of 163.

During the Hefei International Marathon, held at the end of 2023, all eyes were on the elderly couple - Hu Yingfu, 86, and his wife Wang Zhangmin, 77.

Many doubted their ability to finish the race, but Hu completed the half marathon in an impressive time of two hours and 20 minutes.

The couple's regular running routine has kept them in excellent physical shape, and they have become well-known figures in the running community, having participated in marathons all over the country.

Hu mentioned that they have won over 200 medals in various national sports events.

Their love for running started as a way to improve their fitness, but it quickly became a passion.

Wang said that running helped alleviate her health issues, and in 1997, after retiring, Hu joined her in the running community.

Despite initially struggling, Hu found a way to motivate himself by counting electric poles while running. Gradually, his endurance improved, along with his physical condition.

"The distance between each electric pole is 50 meters. I sprint as fast as I can, passing a dozen or so poles. People say I run like a rabbit," said Hu.

On a friend's recommendation, the elderly couple decided to participate in a national athletics event for the elderly in 2004, marking their first-ever national competition. Initially, they just wanted to give it a try, but to their surprise, Wang achieved an impressive fourth place.

(Photo/Screenshot from a video released by CCTV News)

Since then, the couple have become regular participants in national athletics events for the elderly, as well as provincial and city sports events, consistently winning medals.

As the athletics events only cover a maximum distance of 10,000 meters, the couple started considering running marathons.

In April 2011, the couple successfully completed a half marathon held in Yangzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. In December that year, they registered for the full Shanghai Marathon. At the time, Hu was 74 years old, and Wang was 65.

Since then, the couple have embarked on a "marathon journey," participating in races all over the country every year. Over the course of more than a decade, they have completed over 100 marathon races.

For many years, the couple have been running 10,000 meters every day. Over the span of more than a decade, they have covered over 40,000 kilometers, equivalent to circling the Earth's equator and then some.

Through running, the couple have forged friendships with fellow runners, and their impact has motivated countless young individuals to become part of the running community.

(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Hongyu)


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