Focus on Athlete: Wang Lidong, KOG and participant for 10 years

It is the first decade anniversary of the Genghis Khans Festival this summer, reason enough for a short interview with Wang Lidong, who has taken part in every single edition of the event, and who also became the King of The Grasslands in 2013 and 2014. Coming from China’s most northern province Heilongjiang, Wang Lidong is sure to celebrate with us in July!

1. Q:From 2007 to 2016 The Genghis Khan MTB Adventure & Grassland Extreme Marathon is on its 10th anniversary, what’s your feeling at this moment as the only one who compete this events last a decade?

A:Oh, really? Ten years. I can’t believe it, time flies, and now I have just become an uncle from a twenty something young boy. But I am so happy because I can still fight in the Genghis Khan MTB Adventure & Grassland Extreme Marathon, a race which is widely heard of throughout China as well as in the world, maybe that is the only reason that is inspiring me to fight on.

2. Q:What makes you join GKF every year? Which parts of the event attract you most?

A:I was attracted by the new form of MTB race and the beautiful grassland in the first year, as you know, the constant three days MTB race was the only one in those years in china. What’s more, I did a good job in the previous years and keep staying in the the top 10 of the field in the MTB race, but not as good as the TRIACE best four and several Outer Mongolia cyclist. However, I like the challenge and I have a strong willing to study from the champions, which I show in the Genghis Khan event every year.

I am not excellent in cycling, in the early years, I experienced that the TRIACE best four dominate the race every year, and recently the Outer Mongolia participants lead the race as well as Hu Hao, the new generation of MTB champions. It is a rough journey, they are too fast for me to catch. So I changed my strategy and found that the new King of Grassland competition is my biggest strength. So, I will keep going. Maybe insist for several decades!

3. Q:Except the improving competitions, there have been lots of other changes ,can you talk about those changes , such as the logistical services,the beautiful grassland , the local customs and practices .And did the GKF make a change to your life?

A: As the influence of the GKF event is increasing in the world year after year, the service of event has been improving and perfecting. XIwuqi is a small but charming city, and since the GKF is held in this town for so many years, booking a hotel is not a problem for us now.

I came to Xiwuqi every year not only for the events, but also to taste the local food, the food is so delicious, such as the Hand Meat, Lamb patties, Bun, Milk tea, and Wulan teahouse is the yearly canteen I will go.

GKF has made me famous, lots want to take photo with me after the award ceremony and they will call me King of Grassland whereas in other races I do, they don’t know my name.

4. Q:The glory of The Genghis Khan MTB Adventure & Grassland Marathon is unmatchable , especially King of the Grassland .But only the MTB or Marathon champion’s head is the portrait on the Medal ,not on the KOG’s medal so far, do you think there is a strong need to change .

A: That sounds good.

5. Q:Most of the participants in the GKM are very strong in the field of running or cycling,and many participants are not Chinese. So you must get to know lots friends and encounter some interesting things, can you talk about it?

A: More and more people compete and lots of them are very strong, it’s not an easy thing to be on the podium, especially the foreign participant whose physical endurance is marvelous and good at cycling. So I usually ride after them to help me conserve more energy. And when they saw my race number is ONE, they will give a thumbs-up gesture then I say SanKeYou (Thank you). We inspired each other and treat as good friends. The most interesting thing is that I was exposure to the public a lot in 2014 just because I was racing together with Maju, who is the founder of the QQride which makes lots of motor-photographers took photos for him, and he is a good amateur too.

6. Q:King of the Grassland(KOG) is a competition that combined a full marathon with 200KM mountain bike in three days , lots of the players came here with a team ,especially the mountain bike events, but there are still lots of Braves who comes alone, do you have any recommendations to them about the preparation and the compete time. Such as the accommodation, the transport and so on.

A: Indeed, I came to the King of Grassland alone over the years, so I have to find more opportunities through other teams and this is an important cycling skill when you participant the race alone. From the TRIACE best four cyclist dominated the Grassland to Hu Hao challenge the Outer Mongolia group, it is evidently that the group can give the participant more strength, so just use your energy as well as your brain, grasp every opportunity to follow the first group, and insist on, then you can compete with other team.

7. Q:As there are lots of differences between the Grassland and the City, do you have any good ideas to those who come to our Grassland marathon for the first time, for you have a very good performance when you compete at the first time.

A: When I was a college student, I am good at running and my personal best result of the 10-Ks is 33m5s which makes me to be the third one in this event in my university. But I never finish any marathon race before I take part in the King of Grassland for the first time, even though in the training day, I just run short distant which less than 12km. That makes me very hard to finish my first grassland marathon, I can’t follow the first group after the pre-20km, and hardly move my legs after 30km, so the result had not reached my expectation. If I add more long distance training in my plan every month, the finish time would be definitely shorter. As a runner, I think the half-marathon distance training is good for the participants, anyway , if you can bear the hardship and training long-distance running which should more than 20km once a month, you will enjoy the race.

8. Q:Even though The Nordic Ways is trying its best to improve and perfect the GKF competition, there still have some aspects can improve, can you give us some suggestions?

A:Aha! Now that the committee gives me an opportunity to make some suggestions, I will with no hesitate do it, because I do remember that some suggestions I proposed last interview have been adopted, that’s really good. Such as add more awarding places for participants, increase the prizes for the KOG. The results are good, and now we can get a high prize after we get a good ranking. If the committee can solve the transportation fee of the participants in the future, that would be cool, but then again, it is a little strict to you, just treat it as a joke. Aha, anyway this is all the participant’s wish.

9. Q: You were the King of the Grasslands for 2 years, but last year you were 3rd.Do you think that this year you can win again?

A: With the level of the participant goes higher, it is not easy to be the champion again. Whatever, that is the difficulty makes the challenge, the target of this year is to try my best to be the second one of the King of Grassland, but I am sure it is easy to be the third one.

10. Q:How is the running and MTB community in Daqin, Heilongjiang, your hometown?

A: As our city is a plain area in China, lots of riders are riding there mountain-bike on the smooth road and we like mountain-bike better than the road-bike. The running group in Daqin is also famous in China such as the Team of Ironman, and also achieved very good results in the Marathon race.

Wang Lidong was dressed in NO.1, he is so freely in the marathon event

He is riding MTB which NO. is 58