North

Chinese man finishes 14-month run from Antarctica to the Arctic Ocean

In March 2018, Bai Bin from China started his journey running from Antarctica to the Arctic.

Bai Bin has run more than 24,000 kilometres

Bai Bin gives a high five in Inuvik, N.W.T. Bin from China completed a 24,000-kilometre journey from Antarctica to the Arctic Ocean. (Submitted by Peter Clarkson)

The Proclaimers may sing about walking 500 miles but Bai Bin just ran more than 24,000 kilometres.

In March 2018, Bin started his journey running from Antarctica to the Arctic, beginning at the Great Wall Station in Antarctica.

"It took me 433 days," he said in Chinese. "I like [running]. Also I've been running for decades. I felt I was up to it, so I wanted to challenge myself."

Bai, who's from China, claims he's the first to do this. He had a goal to do the journey within 300 days but faced a few detours along the way.

"I encountered many hardships along this journey, including severe weather, even kidnapping, also sickness, injuries," he said. "I went through a lot, including high temperature, UV and instability in Central America. All these hardships made a huge impact on my race."

On his GoFundMe page, Bai describes significant challenges in Central and South America. He says he suffered a bacterial infection in Colombia, lists two hospitalizations in Panama and says he was kidnapped in Mexico.

Bai Bin's trek started in March 2018. (Photo submitted by Peter Clarkson)

"[It] significantly interrupted my original plan reaching the Arctic by November 2018, but I did not give up and continued my adventure through whatever elements I encountered," wrote Bai on the page.

He arrived in Canada in March, marking the fourteenth country along his journey, and arrived in the Northwest Territories the first week of May.

Bai hasn't been alone through his journey. A team of helpers have helped him out along the way.

"I couldn't have done this race without my team," he said. "If I were to do it by myself, I couldn't have run 70, 80, or even 100 kilometres every day."

Bai Bin celebrates reaching the Arctic Ocean. (Submitted by Arlo Clarkson)

Arlo Clarkson, who helped Bai for his time in the Beaufort Delta region by driving him and a team member back to a hotel after running, said the runner was able to get across to the Inuvik side of the Mackenzie River with help from a Tsiigehtchic resident after the ice crossing closed.

His last two days spanned 100 kilometres each before he arrived in Tuktoyaktuk at about 6 a.m. on Wednesday. Immediately after he arrived, Bai headed back to Inuvik to start the long journey home, this time by plane.

    When asked about what he was looking forward to most about going home, there was one thing that came to mind.

    "I'm really looking forward to going back home and eating good food," said Bai. "I want to give my body a chance to recover."

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