Running in search of a toilet or running away from himself? A Chinese athlete, who was forced to relieve himself during the Shanghai half-marathon, emerged as his country’s fastest runner despite battling diarrhea for 6 kms. He admitted after the race that even he could not stand the smell.
Wu Xiangdong emerged fastest Chinese male runner in the 21km race at the Shanghai half-marathon but never wants to remember the embarrassing race again. Wu was hit with a diarrhea attack around the 14km mark.
With no toilets on the way, Wu ran for more than six kilometers after facing a particularly untimely bout of diarrhea. Wu said that he felt more powerful he ‘excreted everything’ and kept running as he wanted to beat the African runner.
Embarrassed by the whole episode, Wu, who finished in one hour, six minutes and 16 seconds, said “Even I couldn’t stand the smell. I kept running and didn’t stop [to go to the toilet] and I wanted to beat the African runner at the finish. I was really relieved when I crossed the finish line.”
“It seemed I had more power after I excreted everything. I definitely would have run faster if I didn’t have this,” he added.
Wu, who finished as China’s top finisher at the race, said he might have had diarrhoea because of the wet clothes he was wearing. “Or it was because I only had a piece of bread and drank mineral water. I don’t think it was because of what I ate. It was a mighty relief to have had the toilet in the end. I don’t want to remember this race,” he said.
While some trolled the runner and called it a ‘smelly marathon’, many citizens came forward to support Wu by calling him ‘brave’.