Hainan: Running for Survival

I was heading to Hong Kong to support for some of my Nepalese ultra running friends in a race there, when I thought I would add on a few extra days of my trip and create a mini adventure for myself.

Hainan would be my destination, (yeah I didn’t know where it was either until I saw it on a map) an Island, and the smallest province of the People’s Republic of China. It’s located in the South China Sea with many beautiful beaches, rainforests, and mountains, which is why I went there.

My plan while in Hainan was to climb Wuzhi Mountain, which literally means “Five Finger Mountain” due to its five mountainous peaks, and is the highest mountain in Hainan. Although only 1,840m (6,040ft) high, I decided to add a twist  on the “usual” route to get to the top. From what I read its quite a difficult climb to the summit (s), taking someone who is fit between 4-5 hours once at the base of the undefined trail. Reaching these summits involves trekking, climbing, and scrambling over exposed roots, on all fours crawling up the steep and jagged peaks, sounded like fun to me!

There are also an abundance of waterfalls and deep ponds in the area, which I intended to be on the lookout for to refill my water containers and take natural showers. I was to complete this adventure alone, armed with a backpack, running shoes, and camera to help me capture the pure essence of my exploration. I planned to take some food, but also find and eat tropical fruits as I run along the trails, and feeding myself from the foods that the forest (and hopefully kind locals) had to offer.

After flying into Sanya on the Islands south coast, I was to then head north about 90 kilometres for the city of Wuzhishan, where I would then start my adventure. The base of the Wuzhi Mountain is approximately 40 kilometres from the town via road, or around 30kms over mountainous terrain as the crow flies; this is the way I was heading.

Over the four days I’m in Sanya (yep four days), my objective was to get from Wuzhishan to the summits’ of Wuzhi Mountain, heading directly through the forest, running along small village trails, or indeed creating my own. I’ll navigate up and over the mountain ranges standing between the town and my destination, while sleeping in a hammock out in the forest each night, before awakening and beginning my next day of adventure on this tropical climate picturesque island.


This trip was definitely all about The Adventure, The Travel, and The Challenge!!!






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