The silent runner disappears in the raging storm

Running was a precious path of life given to this young man by fate, but eventually led him to death. We commemorate him because the hottest life of a young man, the most courageous running, should not have stopped like this. In 2019, before the outbreak of the epidemic, a total of 481 trail runs were held in the country, an average of more than one a day, an increase of fifty percent in two years, a growth that was so rapid until a huge catastrophe came out of nowhere.

Running is a way of life given to him by fate

M182, is the number Huang Guanjun posted on his chest. At 6:43 p.m. on May 6 this year, he paid 1,000 yuan to enroll in the Yellow River Shilin Mountain Cross Country Race to be held in Baiyin, Gansu in 16 days.

For him, this money is not a small figure, equivalent to half his monthly salary. At the beginning of this year, he worked as a waiter in a restaurant in Chengdu, the back kitchen cut a day, a month to earn 2600 yuan. He also worked as a delivery boy in Mianyang, running in the hot sun to earn 70 to 80 a day.

This thin, frail young man is very quiet, that does not come from the character, but from a medical accident. He was born in a poor peasant family in Mianyang, Sichuan province, and became deaf and mute at the age of one because of a botched injection. Dropping out of school in his second year, he worked odd jobs in many places, most of which he couldn’t do and couldn’t do for long. An example of both a handy man and a hard-to-find job is that he also took up embroidery.

This was a boy with a sensitive heart, a desire for recognition, and in silent solitude. He used to cry every night in anxiety because he couldn’t keep up with his studies in regular school, and he used to be in a high spirits because he learned cross-stitch and Qiang embroidery. He once wanted to be a soldier and longed to have a girlfriend, but none of these came true.

The only thing he did well was run. That is almost an innate talent, he liked to run in the village when he was a child, bored to run more than ten kilometers every day, is the eyes of the villagers of the strange character of children. Later, he won the first place in the Sichuan Provincial Paralympics 10,000 meters long-distance running. Later, he always won in various marathon competitions, at that time his QQ signature is “lonely running ” and his screen name was “Lonely Alone The name is “lonely alone”. Running seems to be a precious way of life given to this young man by fate, a race can have thousands to tens of thousands of dollars of prize money, as long as the results are good, there are bonuses to take. “He is living on the prize money. ” said Wei Jing, a close friend of Huang Guanjun and a marathoner.

May 22, this 100 km cross-country race on the Yellow River, for many runners is a hobby, is sightseeing, but for Huang Guanjun, is survival, this race the top ten have bonuses, the first 15,000, the tenth 2,000 blocks, he plans to finish within ten hours, take a good ranking. The difficult economic conditions are both a reason for him to run and a proof of his love. When training, he often has only instant noodles to eat, which is 30 kilometers of running.

His close friend Anning said Huang Guanjun was well prepared. He is usually very frugal, always wears the clothes and equipment issued by the race, this first time to run 100 km, he deliberately bought a new pair of sports shoes, blue, and also bought a black sports watch. He trained very hard, getting up at eight o’clock every morning to run more than 30 kilometers to the Nanhe gymnasium in Mianyang, and sometimes in the afternoon to increase the amount of running, a little in the city of the shallow running of contemporary people, can understand, more than 30 kilometers a day, what a horrible number, almost a kind of self-abuse of the body and spirit. As a leading runner in Mianyang, he often organizes people to run in the mountains, and has run all over the mountains near Mianyang. On the matter of running, he is a person who will never admit defeat, Anning remembered that in early May, they ran with a group of other runners, suddenly there was a heavy rain, others stopped, only Huang Guanjun is still running, even faster and faster, other people are gone, he is still going forward, “He is to reach that limit. “He is to reach that limit. “

Anning remembered that the two people running together, every time she could not run, slow down, Huang Guanjun always next to the gesture, “you have to grit your teeth and hold on, and then hold on! “

On May 19, he took an overnight train and arrived in Lanzhou at eight in the morning, then transferred to Baiyin, three days before the race, and spent those days relaxed and comfortable, tasting the famous Lanzhou ramen, eating mutton, visiting the ancient city gate of Yongtai, and crookedly taking pictures at a monument and took pictures of it. About the race, also prepared properly, went to the Stone Forest National Park the day before to step on the route in advance, from the video, the route is very steep, almost no clear path, he had to sit out of the steep slope to slip down, under normal circumstances, this is not difficult for a professional runner like Huang Guanjun, he stepped on a brisk pace, trotted away, the figure is getting smaller and smaller, like a dexterous rock sheep.

May 22 was race day, and the morning was a beautiful sunny day. At 6 a.m., Anning received a WeChat from Huang Guanjun, who told her that he had heard that the race was relatively large, and that if he could make it to the podium (which usually means the top three), there might be an extra bonus amount. An Ning encouraged him, you can do it too, go for it! Huang Guanjun returned with a short word, “Hmm. “

That was Huang Guanjun’s last WeChat. Later, An Ning regretted countless times why she encouraged him, why she didn’t tell him that it was good to finish the race safely.

He continued to run up

Nine o’clock, the starting gun sounded, the temperature 18 degrees Celsius, that time the sky has turned cloudy, the wind also began to blow, many people’s hats were blown away, but the run has begun, no one expected to get deadly danger began to surround them – the race was terminated a day later, China News Network reporter called Jingtai County Meteorological Bureau, the relevant personnel introduced Jingtai County Meteorological Bureau provided on-site meteorological services for the race, sending a special report on the meteorological information of the race site to the main leaders of the organizing committee. The weather special report provided information on the minimum temperature, maximum temperature, wind level and wind direction, “but no specific information on the transit of cold air. “

Huang Guanjun ran the first 13 kilometers at a speed of 4 minutes and 45 seconds a kilometer, arriving at the first punching point at 10:02:26. At this point he was ranked first. Then he even accelerated and finished the second 11km with a time of 3 minutes and 54 seconds a kilometer, arriving at the second punching point at 10:45 minutes and 31 seconds, at which point he was in fourth place. He was in great shape, and that brief “hmmm ” word seemed to be his brief determination. Anning could see his position and speed on the GPS, the speed alarmed her, “running so fast in front, how to do behind. “

And the rain has fallen, first a small drizzle, after more and more dense, the wind is getting stronger, for the runners, they entered the toughest part of the 100 km course, from the second to the third punching point of 8 km, there are 1000 meters of climbing, rocks and sand mixed mountain road, the rain washed the road slippery, more and more difficult to walk, the runners had to climb up on hands and knees. A runner named “South of the river In an article, a runner named “South of the River” recalled how he felt at that time, “The wind wrapped in rain hit my face, like a dense bullet hitting me, it really hurt. The eyes could not open under the strong wind and dense rain, and the vision was seriously affected. “

The clothes are getting wet, the weather is getting cold, Huang Guanjun did not bring thick clothes. In this race, the assault jacket was not written into the mandatory equipment, the day before the race, the race authorities collected everyone’s supply bag, placed in the sixth transfer point at 62 kilometers. That meant that under the fierce storm, many people only had shorts and T-shirts.

Wei Jing said that the more elite runners with good results, the less willing they are to bring a lot of heavy equipment. Bringing an extra 100g of weight might delay the final finish time a lot, “For Huang Guanjun, it should be the same . “

The weather was getting worse and worse, the higher up the climb, the heavier the wind and rain, and halfway up the mountain when it started to intersperse with hail, people started to shiver uncontrollably. Many people withdrew from the race here and started to return, but this violent storm was probably still silent in Huang Guanjun’s ears, and he continued to go up, a runner named Zhang Xiaotao passed Huang Guanjun on this road, they exchanged greetings, Huang Guanjun pointed his finger to his ear, indicating that he could not hear, Zhang Xiaotao noticed that Huang Guanjun was not in a good shape anymore. Including Zhang Xiaotao and Huang Guanjun, this was a leading squad of six top runners, Zhang Xiaotao ranked fourth, Huang Guanjun ranked sixth, and later only Zhang Xiaotao survived.

No one witnessed what happened to Huang Guanjun later, An Ning kept calling Huang Guanjun’s phone throughout the afternoon, but there was always no answer. Until 11:30 pm, still no news, but she still has hope, for runners, encounter bad weather, the most fear is the loss of temperature, Huang Guanjun is not without encounter, previously in the Dujiangyan Marathon, he encountered a brief loss of temperature, but he desperately continue to run, slowly boiled over. Previously, he ran in the rain, he was soaked through, and then found a place to make a fire, dry his clothes, and also safely down the mountain. Anning thought, this time also okay, she sent a circle of friends, “my brother’s first off-road Baiyin Yellow River Stone Forest 100 km off-road race, it is said that today suddenly bad weather … … hope that my brother’s children are off-road. … I hope my brother child returned safely, sister miss you. “With a photo of Huang Guanjun holding his arms up, standing in the yellow sand, and with a strong spirit.

Huang Guanjun went to Baiyin with two other runners from Mianyang, who withdrew from the race early and later joined the rescue team. At 2 a.m., they found the remains of Huang Guanjun in the mountains. Another friend at the race site cried after hearing the news, “He was deaf and dumb, he couldn’t even call for help. “

When I’m old, I’ll go to the deaf school and teach other children to run sleepless Anning saw a message in the group, “People are gone. “She was a little confused, not quite believe it, although so much bad news, she always felt that he could get through, but that message was true. This 100-kilometer cross-country race on the Yellow River, with a total of 172 participants, ended up killing 21 people, making it the single race with the highest number of casualties in the history of the marathon. Most of the dead were first-tier runners, including Chinese ultra-marathon record holder Liang Jing, Wei Jing said, adding that those names are familiar in running circles, and Huang Guanjun was one of them.

He died alone in the mountains, and to some extent, loneliness was also his near total destiny. Because of his deafness, he didn’t have many close people. A reporter interviewed Huang Guanjun in 2014, and the reporter wrote on a piece of paper, “How much do you communicate with your dad and mom usually? Huang Guanjun used a pen to draw a line under Huang Guanjun drew a line under “Dad” and wrote “No”, and again in “Mom” under a line, write “less”. The reporter asked again, what about and sister? He wrote down a word, “less “. The reporter reassured him, “Mom and Dad are busy, they also love you. “Huang Guanjun bowed his head and wrote a sentence that “No, do not like deaf, boring. “

Anning said, later it was running let him have some friends, see others running posture is not right or not standard, he will always write on the phone, tell others how to adjust, slowly, we are familiar with up, Mianyang runners mostly know Huang Guanjun’s situation, from time to time will fund him. After he got the bonus or the salary from odd jobs, he would return the money to others again. She took pity on him and treated him like a brother, giving him a rent reduction. He was embarrassed and took the initiative to help Anning cook, the food was fried very well, and he helped Anning make pizza before the game.

Before this game, Huang Guanjun participated in a competition in Mianyang, won the prize, the prize is a bottle of white wine, several bags of laundry detergent and chili sauce, he took it all to An Ning, and he had no other people to give. Huang Guanjun could not call for help, could not speak, but An Ning remembered that he would say two words like a normal person, sister.

Huang Guanjun mentioned his ideal to An Ning, his best marathon time is 2 hours 38 minutes, he is now a member of the Sichuan provincial team, he thought to try to run into 2 hours 30 minutes, so there is hope to join the national team, that represents a more scientific training and more stable income. He wrote to her in a note, “When I’m too old to run, I’ll go to a school for the deaf and teach other children to run.

That wish was dashed forever. She remembers that when Huang Guanjun went to Baiyin to participate in the competition, he only brought a particularly small suitcase. The 20-square-meter room didn’t have much of his personal possessions, except for some necessary necessities. The most he had was his running clothes and equipment, other than that, he was all alone when he left this world.

◦An Ning is a pseudonym in the article. Photos courtesy of the interviewee.

Interns Wang Yaqi, Dai Dingyu, Liu Yi Tong and Huang Jiahui also contributed to this article.