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China: Around The Nation

From Zhejiang with love: Couple runs 4,700km across China to show their devotion

Twenty-somethings complete equivalent of 112 marathons in five months, and even pick up a stray pooch along the way

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 September, 2017, 3:19pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 September, 2017, 6:40pm

A Chinese couple recently completed a 4,700km run across China, for no other reason than to show their love for one another, local media reported.

Referred to only by their nicknames, fitness fanatics Yiyi, 23, and her boyfriend Qiaobei, 22, took 150 days to finish their “Run for Love” from Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang province, to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, Qianjiang Evening News reported on Sunday.

By the time they arrived at Potala Palace in the centre of Lhasa last week they had run the equivalent of 112 marathons.

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Yiyi said the adventure had made the couple’s love stronger than ever.

“We walked together in the dark, climbed tall mountains, got wet in the rain and got burnt by the sun,” she was quoted as saying. “We won’t break up easily after all that.”

The two lovers cooked their own meals – using ingredients they hauled along in a stroller – and camped by the roadside to save money, the report said.

One of the hardest parts for Yiyi was when she had to shave her head because she was tired of being unable to wash her hair properly in the wilderness.

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To make sure they arrived in Tibet on schedule, the pair slept for only for two hours on the final day of the run and managed to cover 127km.

Not that they were too busy to share their love, however. As Yiyi and Qiaobei ran through Yunnan province they spotted a stray dog by the side of the road that looked like it needed a friend. So, with their stroller-cum-pantry by now half empty, they loaded the dog into it and wheeled it all the way to Lhasa, the report said.

They later named their new companion Mala, which in Putonghua approximately translates as Marathon.