Liang Jing, the runner died in the wilderness

Disciple Yan Yan saw the remains of Liang Jing. His knees were so badly worn that there was almost no skin left and you could see the flesh directly. They guessed that this was because he had crawled on his knees for a long time before he died. They analyzed, perhaps because he lost temperature severely and no supplies, the wind and rain uphill impossible, downhill and may be blown to the nearby ditch, is really a dilemma, only by a strong desire to live, crawling on the ground until the last moment of life.


This is the place.

No man’s land stretches between the mountains, a slightly steeper slope, from the top of the Yellow River Stone Forest off-road race is located in the punching point CP3, only one kilometer away, the player Liang Jing’s GPS signal stopped here. Exactly five hours later, his remains were found by a passing athlete, reported to the police, then put into a kiln by the rescue team, and at night, transported down the mountain by helicopter.

Two days later, his best friends arrived from all over the country, including teammates Zhao Jiaju and Xiang Fuzhao, who had both participated in the race and cooked together before last year’s competition. Now that Liang Jing is gone, they stand where the signal disappeared, trying to figure out what, exactly, happened that day.

This race is not special for the 31-year-old Liang Jing. As a professional, after the 2020 epidemic caused by the suspension of the event, he is in the recovery period, in March also own dissatisfaction with the state, but then one time better, this spring, he went to Zhejiang, Guangdong and Jiangxi, took several championships, but also broke the record of two races.

What’s more, he has been very familiar with the course of the Yellow River Stone Forest Cross Country Race, and in the first three years, he was the champion. Sometimes Liang Jing participated in the race, coach Wei Pulong would accompany him, and sometimes teammate Zhao Jiaju would also join him. There were also times when his two-year-old daughter was with him. But this time, he was alone.

According to the usual weather in May in Baiyin, he should enjoy this part of the journey – the temperature is not too high, so just protect yourself from the sun. We retraced the route on the day when Liang Jing was supposed to run through the towering Yellow River rock forest casting huge shadows, into the sand with dense date palms, then past canyons and pounding river banks, villages, shepherds and graveyards, into rolling hills and the Gobi, and finally back to the start, and perhaps, for the fourth time, hold the trophy and the $15,000 prize.

The photographer on site left his last images. At 9:59 a.m., Liang Jing passed CP1, clocked in, drank a glass of water, and continued on without stopping. At 10:44am, Liang Jing left from CP2 and drank another bottle of water. By this time, the wind was so strong that the hat of his thin black jacket was blown up by the wind and he ran out of the camera.

Participant “Stray South” recorded how the situation got worse.

“After CP2, that’s when the real trouble came.

The wind had increased to seven or eight, and the rain was even denser. The wind was wrapped in rain and hit the face like a dense bullet, which hurt. Glasses were glued by the rain, eyes in the strong wind and dense rain can not open, only squinting slits, vision was seriously affected.

The original Yellow River Rock Forest track, the most difficult part in this section, from CP2 to CP3, 8 km distance, climbing 1000 meters, and only climbing without descending. The mountain is a mixture of rocks and sandy soil, and many sections are very steep.

In previous races, this section is incredibly difficult, runners need to climb up on their hands and knees, here is the motorcycle can not go up, so CP3 does not provide any supplies, which means that even if we reach the top, there is no food, water, hot water is even more delusional, the exposed mountain, more nowhere to rest, and can not be retired here. And to hold on to CP4.”

Then to the family and friends found that the situation is not right, the time is very late. At five o’clock that afternoon, his apprentice Yan Yan heard the news that Liang Jing was lost and had to call him quickly, but she didn’t – she thought the course was simple, not very difficult, and the danger factor could even be said to be small.

Later, it turned out that many people, including Liang Jing, suffered from loss of temperature. Loss of temperature, when the body loses more heat than it replenishes, is when the temperature of the body’s core area drops, with subsequent symptoms such as chills, disorientation, cardiorespiratory failure, and even death. In the outdoors, rain, moisture and wind are the biggest “potential killers”. Liang Jing’s coach, Wei Plong, said that the golden time to rescue people with severe temperature loss is not long, only ten minutes.

But Yan Yan thought that Liang Jing would definitely save herself – she knew that there were several very powerful participants, including Liang Jing, Huang Yinbin and Cao Pengfei, who were all first-group players, “with their strength. No problem at all. “

Soon, someone entered Liang Jing’s personal information, querying the GPS track that the organizing committee of the tournament system was still open, and found that at 1:48 in the afternoon, Liang Jing’s GPS track had stopped. From the afternoon to the evening, many people called him, initially no one answered the phone, and then could not be reached. The official phone number of the race organizing committee was also unanswered. All kinds of confusing news came in, some said he was rescued to the kiln, others said he was rescued to the villagers’ house.

In fact, none of this happened. Liang Jing ran too fast, ran past the kiln where the shepherd rescued him, continued on, and collapsed one kilometer from CP3.

Through various clues, family and friends restored some details of Liang Jing before he passed away.

His apprentice Yan Yan saw his remains, his knees were so badly worn that there was almost no skin and he could see the flesh directly. They guessed that it was because he crawled on his knees for a long time before he passed away. They analyzed, perhaps because he lost temperature severely and no supplies, the wind and rain uphill impossible, downhill and may be blown to the nearby ditch, really dilemma, can only rely on a strong desire to survive, crawling on the ground until the last moment of life.

According to the last published information, there were 20 runners who fell together with him. Among them were Cao Pengfei and Huang Yinbin, who were both top runners in the ultra-running world. Cao Pengfei and Liang Jing both live in Hefei and lived in one room before the race. On the day of the race, their GPS tracks were highly overlapping and the remains of the three were found very close to each other. The fastest runner encountered the strongest wind and rain. At the top of the mountain, two volunteers from CP3 stood in the gale, where there was no rescue team and no supplies.


On the night of May 23, 65-year-old Wei Pulong, who was Liang Jing’s coach and his righteous father, spent a difficult night. He would believe in the news of Liang Jing’s loss, running these years, Liang Jing would call him first whenever he encountered difficulties.

In 2017, Liang Jing ran for 12 hours in a row in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, and also encountered a loss of temperature. Wei Pulong was at the scene, and Liang Jing ran to him and told him that he had lost temperature. Wei Pulong asked the organizing committee to quickly make brown sugar water, drove a car to chase him, and also got many people to help him block the wind, and soon the temperature loss was relieved. Last year in Fenghua, Zhejiang Province, Liang Jing went to run the “Jiangnan 100 miles”, did not bring a cell phone, the result was lost, borrowed the roadside villagers’ cell phone to call him, Wei Pulong ran decades Marathon, know what to do, immediately called the organizing committee, Liang Jing was brought back to the track, and finally took the first.

Liang Jing’s poor eyesight, Wei Pulong worried, free to accompany, but this time he did not come, the race also did not receive a call from Liang Jing. Before the race, Liang Jing said after running this race, to go to his house to eat chicken. Before flying to Lanzhou, Wei Plong placed an order for forty chickens, with some kind of certainty that Liang Jing would be able to return.

In 2012, there were not many people running the marathon in Hefei, just seven or eight, and Wei Pulong and 22-year-old Liang Jing met on the race course. At that time, Liang Jing was 22 years old, except for running, almost nothing, he was a native of Dongzhi County, Chihuahua, Anhui Province, born in an ordinary rural family, studied at the University of Anhui Jianghuai College, a third-grade college, school is not very good, people are also introverted and mute, initially running take-away for a living, and later in a dairy company as a mechanic, hard work in three shifts. Wei Pulong, on the other hand, was already well respected in the marathon community in Hefei, and saw Liang Jing among a group of young people and took him as his disciple.

He felt that this young man was very simple, his IQ and emotional quotient were stuck at 17 or 18 years old, and outside of work, he was completely immersed in the world of running. Liang Jing was 169 cm tall and weighed about 65 KG, not a superior physical condition. Technically speaking, at that time, Liang Jing was lacking in all aspects of running, relying on instinct. But Wei Pulong thinks he is different, “he is willing to suffer, in the playground someone running 30 laps has been tired, Liang Jing a run is 50 laps, he has a different kind of toughness. “

Marathon at that time also has not yet commercialized, little financial return, is like. Sometimes when you can’t sleep at night, he and Wei Pulong will go together to “brush laps” in the playground of Hefei Second Middle School, a run is seventy to eighty laps, run until exhaustion and go straight home to sleep. The runner would go home and sleep. Sometimes go to other cities to run marathons, often run a full day, run without rest, immediately jumped on the high-speed rail, rushed back to the factory to continue the night shift.

He had a natural good temper, but also lacked experience in dealing with the world. Once in Anhui, to run a hundred kilometers in the gymnasium, the organizers let the run start at 4:00 p.m. It was summer, thirty to forty degrees in the playground, Wei Pulong felt it was too hot and asked to postpone it to the evening, but the other side said that the leaders were coming, so they could not ask the leaders to sit here in the cold. Liang Jing still ran, running to more than 60 kilometers, has been heatstroke, the footsteps are shaking, and began to vomit. Wei Pulong could not look down, caught up with him, said we do not run, which stopped.

The refinement of Liang Jing’s skills, and the commercialization of the domestic marathon, almost synchronized. 2015 began, marathon races around the country have sprung up, a race prize, almost can offset his annual salary. Becoming a professional marathon runner, and thus living, gradually became a possibility. That was the year that Liang Jing quit his job and became a “bounty hunter” in the marathon industry.

In January 2012, the Xiamen full marathon, which was Liang Jing’s first marathon, did not go well. The last twelve kilometers of the marathon was not smooth, his foot cramped, and he walked the entire distance by willpower.

She is a staff member of Guangdong Marathon Cross Country Event Company. Liang Jing is from Anhui, a child of the plains, he was afraid of cold, not once or twice, he was prone to hypertension, high altitude race body reaction is always very strong, he was also afraid of heat, Guangdong such a subtropical area event will also be heatstroke, he was not a professional athlete origin …… just graduated from the factory, running is a hobby after entering the university, participated in a number of competitions with excellent results and bonuses before choosing to resign as a bounty hunter, he is such a fear of cold, heat, fear of hyperthermia of ordinary people’s physique love running ordinary people. “

Such a physical quality is not a perfect runner, at the end of last year announced on the IAAF standings, he is already the ultramarathon, cross-country points of China’s first, Asia’s first, the world’s eighth.


This year, Liang Jing turned 31 years old. This is one of the best days of his life. He got married a few years ago, his wife, whom he met running marathons, is also a big disciple of Wei Plunger, they secretly fell in love, Wei Plunger told him to cherish this love, and for their wedding, Wei Plunger was the witness. More than two years ago, his daughter was born, he took his daughter around the country to run, teammates love her, holding the meat dumplings, he took many photos. the night of May 23, her wife in the hotel room in Baiyin let out a cry, standing in the corridor can be heard.

In these years, he ran at least four races a month, earning enough prize money for his family to live, his wife therefore quit her job. Liang Jing protects the family, earns all the money to his wife. After taking the prize, he went back to give it to his master, Wei Pulong. Wei Pulong has a marathon museum, in which more than half of them are Liang Jing’s medals.

In Hefei, runners organize activities, Liang Jing will still go. Two of his running buddies recalled him – in such races Liang Jing ran very slowly, usually helping everyone to press the line and do logistics. For example, in long-distance training, people need supplies, all dumped to him, the most excessive once, someone’s bike is broken, let him carry, he did not say anything, continue to run with the weight. We know, “he is too honest, bullying him is zero cost, how to bully him will not be angry. “

Love, daughter, friendship, self-actualization, stable and loving circle, and relatively decent life, running has given this poor young man everything. The world is such a good thing.

But sometimes the instinct to win, with the desire to run some more, will override reason to dominate him. in September 2018, he ran nine races in a month. when Wei Pulong heard about it, he was angry and scolded him severely, asking him if he didn’t want to live. He reassured his master that there was a full horse, meaning that the full horse was not hard work, and 42 kilometers was just a warm-up, and even if he didn’t compete, he usually trained more than that much every day. But Wei Pulong has been running marathons for decades, he knows better than Liang Jing, it’s easy to run like this and get physically overdrawn. “Just like a car, you keep driving, keep driving, it is not to stop and cool down. Otherwise the heart, liver and five organs are not run bad? “

There are still times when Liang Jing did not dare to tell him, quietly concealed from him and went away. Every time he went back, he was proud to ask the master: look how I look? Wei Pulong felt that he was gray and seriously malnourished, so he gave him meat stew to eat. Both of them are big eaters and can eat a big rice cooker of rice. Not the days of the game, Liang Jing daily go to the gym training, the gym owner see him headache, he ran fast and long, meet him, the treadmill has a life.

He has also been noticed for something other than running. 2018’s Hong Kong 100km trail run, he was the first to reach the finish line with a time of 9 hours, 28 minutes and 35 seconds, and broke the record, while being reported for grabbing tourists’ water bottles at non-replenishment points, and his score was cancelled as a result. He later spoke out on social networks, reflecting on himself, “It’s all my fault that I was too (focused) on the race and felt that everyone had to get in my way and serve me,” and “A person’s life is long, there are still many roads to go, I will pay attention and accept everyone’s supervision in the future”.

An industry insider said that Liang Jing is a person with a very strong desire to win. He said that for particularly good players like Liang Jing, it is normal to take part in the competition and get 40,000 to 50,000 prize money for a month, plus the hundreds of thousands of sponsorship fees given by sponsors every year. So some of them come with the purpose of I want to get the championship and the prize money, not to enjoy the competition.

But Wei Pulong knows Liang Jing, and he disagrees with this view. He once talked to Liang Jing about wanting to set up a sports company and let Liang Jing be a marathon coach and teach classes, he was too tired this decade and it was time for him to rest. Liang Jing told him that she wanted to run for two more years until she couldn’t run anymore.

What Wei Pulong can do is to be careful and avoid any risk for him. Last month in Hefei there is a relay race, the difficulty is very low, we discuss whether to prepare an ambulance, the organizers are very hesitant, dozens of people in the meeting, Wei Pulong beat the table: “Liang Jing run a kilometer, we have to ambulance facilities are to do. Arrange the ambulance we do, do not arrange to do it. “A few years ago, also in Gansu, a desert crossing, Wei Pulong told the organizers, must arrange a guide car, guide the car to bring ambulance measures, which is the most important thing.

He said that things like loss of temperature, any athlete, including Liang Jing, are powerless to return. This relies heavily on the event organizing committee. There is a saying in the industry that all the fate of a player is in their hands.

Liang Jing and his teammates Zhao Jiaju and Xiang Fuzhao are the top three domestic runners in the International Trail Running Association standings, and likewise the top three in Asia. They are the top runners in this field. Xiang Fuzhao told us that they are all ordinary people with no professional background, and have come this far by themselves step by step. This year there is good news, they are all invited to participate in the Thailand sub race of the Tour de Mont Blanc at the end of October, and if they do well, they can go to the Tour de Mont Blanc, which is one of the most difficult trail running races in Europe.

Just last month, in the small group of three people, the three people encouraged each other, Zhao Jiaju said, the three of us should unite and do a great job. Liang Jing replied to him, “Get it done! “

Now teammates three, only two left. Zhao Jiaju and Xiang Fuzhao arrived in Baiyin, they want to take him home.