Daily life in Beijing runs us all through a veritable gauntlet of endurance-testing challenges. Smog. Subways. Sichuan peppers. But for one hardy fitness fanatic, these meagre hurdles of the everyday were simply not punishing enough. Chongqing native Liu Zhongjie spent his whole weekend quite literally running round in circles, as he undertook the marathon task of continuously jogging the entirety of Beijing’s Sixth Ring Road in a sole-destroying 222km lactic-acid fest.
So what was it that motivated him? Weight loss? Records? Fame and glory? In a Friday night WeChat Moments post, the currently-single pringle Liu revealed that he would be undertaking this ordeal 'all for belief, all for her', as Fenghuang News reports. Pass the tissues. We’ve all tried the odd bold act of bravado to attract the interest of a crush, but this is admirable.
Yes, Mr. Liu would run 50 miles and he would run 88.24 more, just to be the man who turned up at her door, sweaty, malnourished and unable to walk. What's it gonna be then, darlin’? Whilst he gained a large following of online supporters, many of whom joined him at various points on the campaign trail, it seems that the sweetheart at the end of the Sixth is still eluding him.
Our hero did, however, find a whole world of pain at the finish line. Having set off at 10pm on Friday night, he finally came full circle on Sunday evening, after 45 hours and 10 minutes, which is, coincidentally, around the same time a rush-hour taxi ride usually takes on the Second and Third Ring Roads. Liu was proud to have completed this immense feat of personal endurance, though he did miss out on breaking the 44-hour record, set earlier this year by a mysterious 22-year-old by the name of Jin.
So with the thermometer soaring and summer in full swing, is your Beijing bikini bod ready, boys? It's time to scrap your indulgent burger party plans, and get some much-needed cardio conditioning by taking on Liu's challenge. But if questionably healthy runs aren't your thing, why not have a go at one of these other tests of tolerance?
After that light 222km jog, what better way to work out those knots, loosen those muscles and flatten you out into a pulp of fleshy mush than a 26-hour massage? The current world record stands at 25 hours and 4 minutes, so head to your nearest masseuse and prepare to be pulverised.
Take the Subway Challenge
If you just can't get enough of that sweet, sweet subway of ours, why not try to visit every station on every line, in just one day? That's exactly what two Beijingers did last year (VPN required), passing through 224 stops over 18 hours and 50 minutes. Have a go at smashing the record, although the chances are there’ll probably be a new station, maybe even a new line open by the time you finish.