Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth. And delves the parallels in beauty's brow.

Half Marathon in Liupanshui, And Excerpts of Hashiru Koto Nituite by Haruki Murakami


This year, I experienced a very unpleasant layoff; I was once unable to sleep at night, living in a reversed day-night cycle, constantly wondering if there was something wrong with me. In order to relax, today, a few months later, I arranged for myself to travel alone for more than ten days. One of my target cities is Liupanshui, Guizhou, because I signed up for the Liupanshui half marathon.

The slogan of the Liupanshui Marathon is "19°C Summer". In China, most cities can't hold marathons in July because the temperature is too high and the risk of heat stroke is high. Only in Liupanshui, which still has 19°C weather, is the only city in China that can hold a summer marathon.


I managed to finished the Liupanshui Half Marathon today, and while lying in bed recovering, I read Muraki Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" while thinking about my past running and other personal experiences.

The results of the recent half marathons have been deteriorating, from 1 hour and 55 minutes in Changshu last October, to 2 hours and 8 minutes in Shanghai at the beginning of the year, to 2 hours and 15 minutes in Liupanshui today. The decline in performance should not be due to age, but to lack of exercise, or the high altitude of the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau, in any case, I need someone to "blame it all on him".


I have also run the whole marathon race, and my mentality was about the same as Murakami's when he ran 100km.

Murakami seldom mentioned his wife, but whenever he did, it must be the scenario that she greeted him tenderly at the finish line; ah, the same goes for my family.

It seems that I'm rambling about something that has nothing to do with the book, just discussing my own feelings about running...but that's the beauty of this book - what Murakami feels is also felt by others. The point is he succeeded in writing about it, in a way that resonates, and that's what you can call the existence of a writer.

The translation of the book is also very good, giving a feeling of "if Murakami can speak Chinese, he must have written like this".


I quite like many sentences in this book, so I'll make some excerpts and put them here too. Some of them may resonate with my heart, and some are about running.

I am a person who loves to be alone, and to be more precise, I am not too miserable to be alone. I don't find it difficult or boring to run alone in silence for one or two hours a day without talking to anyone, or to sit alone for four or five hours and write in silence. This tendency has been consistent since I was young and has always been present in me. I prefer reading in silence or listening to music in full concentration rather than doing something with someone else. I can think of a lot of things to do alone.

It is because there are all kinds of people that this world is called a world. Other people have their own values and ways of living that go with them, and I have my own values and ways of living that go with myself. Such differences create subtle disagreements, and when several of them are combined, they can develop into big misunderstandings and make people suffer from unwarranted misunderstandings. Being misunderstood and wronged is never a pleasant event, but can also cause deep trauma to the soul. It is also a painful experience. However, as we grow older, we come to realize that such pain and trauma are actually necessary for life. When we think about it, it is the fact that we are more or less different from others that allows us to establish ourselves and remain as independent beings.

I am who I am and no one else, and this is an important asset for me. The trauma to my heart is the price I have to pay to the world for this self-reliance.

There are several advantages to running. First of all, you don't need a partner or a rival, you don't need special equipment or gear, and you don't need to go to a special place. As long as you have a pair of shoes suitable for running and a sloppy road, you can run as long as you like when you feel like it.

If I stop running because I am busy, I will not be able to run at all. The reasons to keep running may be as thin as a thread, while the reasons to stop could fill a large freight truck. We can only polish the "threads" - one by one carefully. Whenever we have time, we work tirelessly to polish them.

The weather in Japan was unusual this summer. The rainy season, which should have ended in early July, continued until the end of July. The rains were continuous and tiresome. There were also heavy rains in various places, and many people died. All this is credited to global warming. Maybe it is so, maybe not. There are scholars who say yes and scholars who say no; there are parts that can be proven and parts that cannot. Yet the troubles facing the world today are, to a greater or lesser extent, credited to global warming. Sales in the clothing industry are down, driftwood is washing up on the beaches, floods occur, water shortages happen, and even consumer goods prices are rising, with global warming to carry most of the blame. The world needs a specific villain that can be named and pointed at by a thousand people: "Blame it all on you!"

P.S. I read the Chinese edition of this book. The English edition I quoted was translated with DeepL from Chinese and rectified by myself.

< Back