Lonely Journey | Africans Running on the Chinese Marathon Track

Publication date:

November 28, 2017


Online user


The article discusses the influx of African marathon runners to China, particularly East African athletes, who are known for their talent in long-distance running. These athletes come to China in pursuit of better opportunities and higher prize money in marathon events.

Amoni, a marathon runner from Ethiopia, is highlighted as an example. He came to China wearing worn-out sandals and has won several championships in Chinese marathons. The text also mentions that many African athletes rely on agents to facilitate their participation in Chinese races, with agents covering their expenses and taking a percentage of the prize money.

Despite their remarkable performances, the article notes that many of these African athletes remain relatively unknown in China, with people often referring to them collectively as "Lao Hei." It emphasizes the dedication and hard work these athletes put into their training and racing.

The article sheds light on the challenges faced by these athletes, including intense competition in China's marathon scene and the need for exceptional speed and endurance to stand out. Overall, it portrays these athletes as individuals who are chasing their dreams and seeking better prospects through marathon running in China.


City | Culture | Social Context | Special Issue

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