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Xi’an races into the New Year

By Miao Jiayu (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2017-01-10

Xi’an celebrated the first day of the New Year with a running competition along its famous ancient city wall.


The event attracted 3,128 runners who, before the race started, joined together to create the Chinese character fu (福). The character means blessings and good fortune, and the act set a Guinness World Record on the day.

Xi’an races into the New Year

More than 3,000 runners combine to create the character fu – a new Guinness World Record. [Photo by Li Nian/Shaanxi Daily]

One of the runners, Li, from Northwestern Polytechnic University, expressed his joy at being involved. “I’m so happy to be part of this ‘fu’. I just had a video call with my family, and they said that I will definitely have a good luck this year.”


The crowd burst into cheers as representative from Guinness, Wu Xiaohong, announced the record.


As the starter’s pistol sounded, the runners dashed out of the starting line. The race’s popularity has grown over the years with many runners forsaking their mahjong and heavy celebrations for a more healthy start to the New Year.


Runners from outside Xi’an were also attracted to the race. “I planned to tour along the city wall, and I’m so happy that I came across this activity today,” said Yang Yu, a tourist from Wuhan, capital of Hubei province.

Xi’an races into the New Year

Xi’an celebrates the first day of the New Year with a running competition along the city wall. [Photo by Li Nian/Shaanxi Daily]

The New Year running competition has been held for 12 years, becoming a regular fixture in Xi’an. In that time, more than 20,000 runners have taken part, collectively covering over 200,000 kilometers.


Edited by Owen Fishwick

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