天游平台报道，The last time anyone saw Huang Guanjun alive, he was climbing a steep, rocky slope. Wind howled. Hail and rain pounded, but Huang heard nothing. He ran, like always, in silence. It was midday May 22, more than 24 kilometers into a 100-kilometer ultramarathon race through the Yellow River Stone Forest of China’s northwestern Gansu province. The 172 runners — including Zhang Xiaotao, who waved to Huang as he passed him in the storm — were winding through canyons and mountains of sand and stone. Zhang would later post online that Huang pointed to his ears, “meaning that he couldn’t hear.”The next time Huang was spotted was around 2 a.m., when, according to local reports, a rescue team found his body in rugged terrain. When word reached the survivors, one runner yelled to a nearby reporter: “He was deaf and mute! He couldn’t even call for help.”Huang was one of 21 runners who died when they were overcome by dropping temperatures, 32- to 46-mph gusts and battering hail. The news stunned China and the wider ultramarathon trail-running world. The worst such incident to happen in running history, it has caused widespread grief, criticism of the race’s organizers and a halt to many marathons and trail races nationwide.
The victims were among China’s best runners: Liang Jing, 31, won the 400-kilometer Ultra Gobi in 2018, running for 3½ days across a desert trail that included a nighttime, 4,000-meter climb in frigid temperatures. He had won the Gansu race three times before, usually finishing in less than nine hours. Fellow runners nicknamed him “Liang God.”Huang, 33, had been marathon champion of China’s 2019 National Paralympic Games. In 2014, a reporter named Yan Jing profiled Huang for a local paper in Sichuan province. He was pale and skinny at the time, “like a student,” she wrote. She’d noticed him at a marathon that year at which he placed second out of 40 racers from his home city of Mianyang.Born to farmers, Huang lost his hearing and speaking due to an injection given to treat illness when he was 1 year old. He left school after seventh grade, unable to keep up with the class. He learned computer and embroidery skills at a vocational school. And he ran: 10 to 20 kilometers a day, working his way up to marathons, accumulating a bagful of medals and certificates that he showed the reporter one by one. Running had become a faith for Huang, a reason to face each day, he told Yan on the Chinese chatting app QQ. His username at that time was Lonely Running. By this year, he had changed it to Love Running. Dream Running. He’d become a champion with his 2:38:29 marathon time in 2019. The Gansu race was his first 100K. He waited in silence for the start.