China’s restrictive rules to combat the coronavirus outbreak have trapped many of its residents indoors – and for one creative marathon runner, he’s made the most of his newly-confined way of life.
Amateur runner Pan Shancu, from the coastal city of Hangzhou, could not stomach the prospect of forgoing his favourite hobby for weeks on end, as his country fights to control the flu-like virus’ spread.
Although Pan is a Chinese medicine health therapist during the day, he’s no scrub as a marathoner – posting a two-hours 59-minute personal best.
Pan Shancu, the owner of a massage shop in #Hangzhou ran 27 hours all the way back to his hometown Taizhou, which is 211 km away from Hangzhou, for the #family #reunion in this spring festival. He found that running home is much more interesting than taking a bus.#China #NewYear pic.twitter.com/Dwh32EIHrC
— hangzhoufeel (@hangzhoufeel) February 13, 2018
So he took matters into his hands and devised an eight-metre course around his apartment’s living room to pursue his athletic passion.
Using two massage tables as a guide, Pan began a daily routine of running up and back, countless times on end, simply because he could not “bear sitting down anymore”, he wrote to followers on popular Chinese social media app Weibo.
And then, for his lockdown opus, he cracked the 50-kilometre milestone.
For those trying to calculate the maths on that one, that’s 6250 continuous, metronomic, dizzying laps in the one room.
That’s one way to fight off cabin fever.
This is great – runners in China spending hours running around their apartments because they can't go outside due to Coronavirus https://t.co/B4vWFFycKE
— Sean Ingle (@seaningle) February 5, 2020
“Yes, one lap is about 8 metres – I ran 50km, and did it in 4:48:44, sweated all over, feels great!”, he wrote in a now-viral post, complete with video documenting his laps and running data.
Pan is one of roughly 25 million Chinese people who actively take up running, and follows others who have improvised indoors, as his country treats more than 14,000 cases of coronavirus.
The South China Morning Post reported another runner crafted a course throughout her entire flat that started in “in the kitchen, go through the living room, turn into my daughter’s room, the less than 20m-long racecourse has beautiful scenery and on my left my husband’s snoring is cheering me on, goji berry tea from the living room table is my mid-route nutritional supply”.