-This article is reproduced from the official account: CCTV News-
Extreme runner Bai Bin, on May 8, Beijing time, completed an unprecedented challenge – from the South Pole to the North Pole!
This challenge, Bai Bin lasted a total of 433 days, across 14 countries, with a cumulative mileage of over 24,000 kilometers.
Bai Bin was born in a small mountain village in Sinan, Guizhou. Bai Bin, who grew up running and growing up in the fields and mountains, is a leader in ultra-long-distance endurance running in China.
In 2011, he ran from Istanbul, Turkey back to Xi’an, China, and completed the 10,000-kilometer ancient Silk Road in 150 days . On the way, he had the idea of challenging a higher limit—running from the South Pole to the North Pole! And when he told his friends about this “crazy” idea, everyone thought he was just joking.
In 2016, under the introduction of a friend, Bai Bin met Li Zhenyu, who was still a company executive at the time, in Beijing. Li Zhenyu, who also wanted to change his way of life, resigned resolutely and decided to join Bai Bin in this unprecedented challenge.
In the New Year of 2018, a non-governmental team was established to challenge the North and South Poles. They named this action: “Li Bai Runs the Earth” . Li is Li Zhenyu, and Bai is Bai Bin.
At most, the entire team consisted of 11 people, including an American physical therapist who provided security services for Bai Bin. Their team slogan is – “love love” .
On March 2, 2018, during the Lantern Festival, Bai Bin officially started from the Great Wall Station of the Antarctic China Scientific Expedition.
Overcoming thorns and narrow escapes
Bai Bin expected to run for 300 days, but the actual completion time was 433 days. What did he experience in the process?
Not long after setting off, Bai Bin’s calf was strained. The therapist with him hoped that he could stop and rest, but Bai Bin believed in his own experience, and he still kept running at a distance of 50 to 60 kilometers every day. After the injury stabilized, he increased his daily running mileage to 70 to 80 kilometers.
After running for more than 100 days, when passing through Peru, Bai Bin first sprained his ankle during the night run, and then when he crossed the desert, the injury suddenly broke out. Although the team had predicted possible injuries before leaving, it came so violently that it was unexpected. And these are not the biggest difficulties they have encountered.
“Drifting” over the Darien Grave where drug lords are rampant
In this 24,000-kilometer challenge, there is a place where Bai Bin and his team have been drumming in their hearts, and that is the Darien Graben.
According to limited records, the Darien Graben is one of the most dangerous and unknown areas in the world. There are many illegal armed forces entrenched there, and drug lords are rampant. How to cross this place is up to Bai Bin’s team. Facing a very difficult moment of decision.
Li Jianyu: The Darien Graben is located on the border between Colombia and Panama. The road we took was the Pan-American Highway built by the Americans, but the road was cut off at 80 miles from the border, and we couldn’t even repair the road here. It is full of drug dealers, anti-government armed forces, and virgin forests, which are very dangerous.
Bai Bin and his party finally failed to cross the Darien Graben on foot, and they chose to cross the sea by kayaking. But for a lower body athlete who is good at running, kayaking relying on upper arm strength is not so easy.
Avoid stormy weather “overweight”
But who knows, Bai Bin escaped the storm, but failed to escape the heavy pressure of extreme weather. Due to the hot and humid weather and the scorching sun, Bai Bin’s skin was ulcerated due to sunburn, and then he developed bacterial infection. His feet swelled and he couldn’t walk. He was eventually admitted to the hospital.
During the treatment, Bai Bin gave up the slow treatment in order to quickly resume running, and just took a little antibiotics, rested for 2 days and continued to challenge. It was also due to the side effects of antibiotics that Bai Bin’s health was not as good as before. In the next few countries, Bai Bin ran extremely hard.
Even before leaving, Bai Bin and his team made various predictions about possible problems, including extreme weather, personnel visas, personal safety and so on. But when they arrived in Mexico, their worst fears came true. Bai Bin was kidnapped.
Bai Bin: They pointed their pistols at me and motioned for me to stop and get in the car. I stopped and got into the back seat. There are four people in the front and back of the car, each holding a long gun…
This is the route map displayed by the GPS on the mobile phone when Bai Bin was kidnapped. The kidnappers covered Bai Bin’s head and took him around for a while. Eventually came to a building and took him to the room of the leader of the kidnappers. Afterwards, the kidnappers brought a translation software to communicate with Bai Bin, asking him where he was from and why he came here.
Bai Bin said that he is a long-distance running enthusiast in China, so he wanted to challenge himself. After seeing Bai Bin’s photo, the kidnappers felt that what he said was true. After more than 10 minutes, the leader of the kidnappers waved his hand to signal Bai Bin to leave.
Bai Bin: They drove to the highway where they arrested me, and let me get off at a fork in the road. He gave me 2 bottles of water and made a gesture to let me continue running. I was really touched at the time.
Surrounded by wind and snow
When there were still 500 kilometers away from the finish line, Bai Bin finally ran into the Arctic Circle, and also rushed into the sudden drop in temperature and the blowing snow.
On the last day of running, the temperature dropped to minus 19 degrees Celsius. The strong wind is accompanied by snowflakes flying all over the sky. The locals say that this is the time when people are most likely to get lost and die.
Bai Bin: At that time, I thought, it’s the last day, and I still want to fight… I remember that the wind was very strong, and I only ran 30 kilometers in nine hours. I didn’t expect it to ease after that, and finally ran for 18 hours Finished 105 kilometers.
Compared to overcoming obstacles and narrow escapes all the way, Bai Bin’s celebration seemed a bit simple. But 433 days of trials and tribulations, with daily danger walking side by side, may be the best way to celebrate at this time of “simplicity”.
Persevere in the face of doubt
Bai Bin actually faced many voices of doubt before setting off. People who don’t know him don’t understand why he ran from the South Pole to the North Pole; friends who know Bai Bin well don’t understand why Bai Bin set off when his wife was pregnant.
But what he didn’t expect was that his wife was one of the few people who supported him to run forward.
Bai Bin’s wife Chen Chunyan: Life is just a few short decades, you can do whatever you want, there is no need to be so restrictive. And I was also going to the North and South Poles at that time, but I got pregnant unexpectedly, so I didn’t follow.
In May 2018, three months after Bai Bin set off, their child was born. On the day the child was born, Bai Bin ran the longest mileage since he started running, 85.7 kilometers.
Bai Bin: There is always something commemorative, so run a little more.
For Bai Bin, as long as it is something that he really loves, he is willing to stick to it. He said that in the next 20 years, we still have to run.
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