Just completed 8 amazing days of delivering Coach Training here in Guangzhou, China. 5 days ago on my day off 2 students and my interpreter took me to Baiyun Mountain in the center of Guangzhou. It was amazing. We went pretty slowly up the mountain, 1253 foot in elevation, as one of my companions isn’t used to such activities. I decided I was going to use my day off today to conquer the mountain by running up it! It is 3 miles from the base to Moxing Summit. When I went up 5 days ago we took the stairs which are steeper, but shorter. I decided to run up the road which is longer, but less steep, with the intent to run the whole way.
I got a good start, but the 74 degree temperature with 86% humidity hit me pretty hard. About a half mile into the run I saw a man running down and it was obvious that he was a serious runner, he was flying down. We waved and I keep on going up. Around 5 minutes later, he caught me, nodded his head and kept running past me, then out of nowhere, he slowed down and started to run with me. It became very clear that he spoke no English, and my Chinese is limited to about 20 words, none having to do with running. He silently and with hand gestures encouraged me. He would indicate with his hand when we were just about to a flatter section and he would pick up the pace the smallest amount. Then when we would hit the flatter section he would back off and let me catch my breath. I have no idea if I would have been able to make it without him, I had several moments where I desperately wanted to walk for a second, but he was willing me on. On one of the flatter portions of the road near the top he was wringing the sweat out of his shirt and I saw the English words: Guangzhou Running Club, so as I suspected he was a serious runner.
Near the top, there is a split, one way is down the opposite side of the mountain and the other goes up to Moxing Peak, which is up a bunch of steep steps. Before we got to the split, he made several hand gestures indicating he was going down the other side, he waved, and he left me in the dust. I spoke 3 of the Chinese words I know, “Ai Xiexie” (Love, Thank you) and he was gone. I suddenly had the realization that he had run up one side of the mountain, down the other, then back up! The distance he ran had to have been at least 12 miles! My Fitness App on my iPhone registered 80 Flights of stairs climbed even though I didn’t take the stair short cuts!
I was wearing my Garmin Forerunner 305 which captured all my data! Click on the link below to see the elevation profile and location:
BaiYun Mountain Run
Feeling so very blessed to have opportunities like this to meet amazing people from around the world. Spontaneous moments when I step back afterwards and am moved to tears. Here I am halfway around the world in a city of 8 million people and I found someone who saw me and wanted to share in the moment.
Here I am at the peak: