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German Silk Road runner nears Shanghai finish line

By Wang Keju | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-10-27 15:00

A financial management consultant from Germany is nearing the endpoint of a more than 12,000-kilometer marathon he began back in Hamburg almost seven months ago.

Kai Markus Xiong, a former gymnast and lifeguard, has visited eight countries on his epic journey across the Eurasian landmass.

Married to a Chinese wife from Yichang, Hubei province, he has long been interested in Chinese culture and designed the route of his run with the ancient Silk Road in mind.

The aim was to promote Sino-German ties and also experience the terrain of the ancient trade route, Xiong told Chutian Metropolis Daily.

He set off on March 12 with 350 kg supplies and 40 pairs of running shoes in a support vehicle driven by his friend Victor Neubauer, who works for a local travel agency in Germany.

Over the course of the run, Xiong covered between 30 km and 90 km every day, with a break from running every eighth day.

That was until he fractured his heel, after more than 200 days and 11,000 km, near his wife's hometown of Yichang.

Following a spell in hospital to treat his injury, Xiong and Neubauer are now nearing Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. They plan to arrive at the end of this month.

From there the pair will head toward their ultimate goal of Shanghai.

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