Hainan is an island located in the South China Sea. The small province of the People’s Republic of China has many beautiful beaches, rainforests, and mountains, which were the reason I went there. My plan while in Hainan was to run to, and then climb, Wuzhi Mountain, the highest mountain in Hainan. Although only 1,840m at its summit, I decided that running to and from this peak would be an all round adventure.
Then things took a turn.
Typhoon Haiyan devastated the island only days before I flew there. I should have taken this as a warning, and cancelled my trip. I arrived to what I could only describe as utter chaos. Trees were down, billboards scattered over roads, and chunks of earth were sliding off the sides of hills. I convinced a reluctant cab driver to take me into the middle of the island (with all the cash I had) and thought I would find some adventure. With my original plan out the window, and my cab driver already heading back to the airport nearly 100 kilometres away, I soon realised that setting off into the hills would be completely stupid. I decided to get a hotel for a few nights (the original plan was to sleep in a hammock) and head out each day to explore the city I was in, Wuzhishan.
None of my credit cards worked, no one spoke English, and I was all out of cash; I needed a few minutes to compose myself before making a decision. What initially was meant to be a fun tropical island adventure of running up into the mountains of Hainan, turned out to be running the 100 kilometres back to the airport in Sanya without any food or water, battling severe dehydration, while sleeping in my hammock each night in the pouring rain. I truly was running for my survival.