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'Chinese Forrest Gump' completes epic run to Nepal

2014-08-15 10:41 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

A peasant dubbed "China's Forrest Gump" completed a 91-day run from Shanghai to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, on August 10, a Henan-based media reported Thursday.

Xie Zhanjun, 34, of Fengqiu county, Henan province, embarked upon a 5,000-kilometer journey that took him from Shanghai to Kathmandu via Lhasa and Nyalam township, Tibet Autonomous Region.

Xie funded his run with earnings saved from working in a shoe factory in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, along with prize money from marathons and the support of his boss, colleagues and fellow runners across China. He was also helped by travelers, ordinary Tibetans and hostel owners along the Sichuan-Tibet Highway.

Running enthusiast Xie took part in his first marathon in 2007. In 2012, he challenged himself to retrace the over 10,000-kilometer route of the Long March from Ruijin, Jiangxi province, to Yan'an, Shaanxi province.

During the run, which he completed in 172 days, Xie almost died after climbing five snowy mountains in just 13 days, Yangcheng Evening News reported in September 2012.

"Running has become a part of my life." Xie said. "I will prove the people who see me as a madman wrong."

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