Photos: Ultra runners take sport and spending to rural China
Updated: Sep 08, 2018 20:16 IST
At dawn, high on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, a Buddhist monk in saffron robes chants blessings over limber athletes preparing to run 100 kilometres across sand dunes, rivers and ravines. The crowd of sporty, middle-class urbanites had spent thousands of yuan to travel to Longyangxia Reservoir in northwestern Qinghai province for an "ultramarathon" - a drastic change from a decade ago, when few Chinese raced even in cities and gear might include jeans and flip-flops. The setting, high up in China’s mountainous interiors and the scene, one that the government hopes is replicated across the nation’s hinterland.