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The final race of Beijing O Week was held outside Beijing, in Linqigu, Yongqing, Langfang. I was told to stay in Yongqing town, and get on a bus for local students to the event.

However, the organiser bus was late and I didn’t arrive on time, which made me start last instead of first as originally arranged.

The race was held in conjunction with China Open, which had many classes including competition classes and non-competition classes.


My performance in this race was the best among the 5, probably because there was no climb in the race (the terrain was completely flat).


The open classes came after our elite race, and there was a cultural exchange session afterwards. However, I had to go immediately after the race because I was taking a flight from Beijing that night, and it would take approximately 6 hours there back to Beijing Airport.

As the organiser bus was not ready to depart at that time, I walked 2 km back to the county road and caught a rural coach from Yongqing to Langfang, had lunch there and took a train back to Beijing.


There were many kinds of trains from Langfang to Beijing, from the most luxurious high-speed G train to the slowest non-air-conditioned “green car”, but the slow train was not available at my time of travel, so I had to take an air-conditioned conventional train to Beijing.



After arriving Beijing, I took the metro line 2 (ring line) to Dongzhimen, but I didn’t took the airport express because it was so damn expensive (CNY 25). Instead, I took a bus 850 Express, which travelled on the motorway to airport and cost only CNY 2 to the nearest stop from airport.


After reaching the airport, I returned my transport card and dumped my luggage in order to meet weight restriction. I took the flight KA975 (sold as CA6523) to Hong Kong, which was the last flight to Hong Kong on that day and ended my journey just after midnight.

The WRE score was published later, but I got only the base score in both sprint and middle race, because the international elites were so damn fast and I could in no way run near their speed.

For the middle race, it was my first WRE done in FootO middle/long because in previous years I couldn’t even finish the middle AOC race in Hong Kong before qualification was introduced to the race.

For the sprint race, my score decreased every WRE race in these years, and now I got only the base score in the WRE. Although there would be a WRE race in December in China also, I was not joining that race because that race was also a local ranking event, and I had to enter my local class (M21) to get local ranking score instead of WRE class.

For the whole trip, there were two places I missed. The first was Mutianyu Great Wall, which I found it out a day after leaving Huairou, and it was too far away to return there from the city. The second was not realising I could arrange the journey to stay at Langfang rather than Yongqing, in order to take the “green car” slow train from Beijing to Langfang.

The races themselves were great, especially the middle race was the highest-quality middle race I’d ever been to, but the logistics was crap. Notices were late, important information was missing from bulletins, start lists were wrong, and the time limit was not mentioned and entered wrongly, etc. When compared to the World Championships in Lithuania I’d been to this year, although the race information was OK, there were a lot of delays and many technical problems occurred, including missing units, flag misplacement, which would be disastrous if happened on a FootO race.

The trip was my first trip as a “sport tourist”, and I’m looking forward to more upcoming trips next year. The place that I want to visit most is Kinmen, because as a Chinese, I want to understand more about the Cold War in the past, where Kinmen was the frontier between the Free World and Communism World (Bamboo Curtain), but now the peace bridge between mainland and Taiwan, keeping China as a whole. I originally would like to go there in early 2018, but as the event calendar shows that there will be a sprint WRE in Kinmen in October by Chinese Taipei, I am going to postpone that trip to become another sports tourism trip. I hope I can get a higher score next year, more than the base score of 10.


The sprint WRE race was held in the Old Summer Palace (圆明园). The terrain was mainly open, but there were impassable bodies of water separating various areas requiring the use of bridges between.

Race 4 map

At the beginning of the race, I couldn’t match the map and the terrain quickly and wasted a lot of time, and there were some little hills in the middle of the course where I couldn’t get on quickly and need time to recognise the shape. Also, the red line from 13 to 14 covered the path symbol on the map which confused me when I was a path there.

I completed the race in 30 minutes and 30 seconds, still over double the winning time 14 minutes and 54 seconds, and couldn’t get more than 10 WRE score in this race.

However, in this race, 2 competitors missed a control and got disqualified.

After the race, the international elites visited the Summer Palace (颐和园), but we didn’t go there and visited the Beijing Zoo.

My friend Eric was leaving that night, and the next race would be held in Linqigu in Yongqing County, Langfang, Hebei. The teacher told me to stay in Yongqing and get on a coach carrying local students to the race. There were multiple modes of transport from Beijing to Yongqing. Direct coaches were available from Muxiyuan, but it was relatively expensive (CNY 20) with few departures per day. Alternatively, one might use any method to get to Langfang city first (including various kinds of trains from the most luxurious high-speed trains exclusively for the rich to the slowest green cars affordable by everyone) and transfer to a rural coach which departed every 20 minutes there, but the service ended at 18:00 so I couldn’t use that method.

In recent years, an inter-provincial bus route “Yongqing Express” was introduced. That route was Beijing bus route 828, from Yongdingmen via Gu’an to Yongqing, which travelled on motorway between Beijing and Gu’an. I took that bus to Yongqing and it took 2 hours from Beijing to Yongqing, and it was the cheapest costing only CNY 9.8 if paid by card. The bus was also very full, with all seats taken at the terminus already, with most passengers getting off in Gu’an.

Sprint race continued in Qinglonghu Park in conjunction with Beijing Students Orienteering Championships. After breakfast, we took a Fangshan taxi to the park. There were many participants in multiple classes in that race.

Race 3 map

I made minor mistakes and finished the race in 28 minutes and 36 seconds, while the winning time was 13 minutes and 46 seconds.

After the race, we took a bus to Fengtai Dongdajie where we would be staying the following night.

After the middle distance race, we had a rest day. As there were no attractions in Fangshan, we went back to the city. We originally wanted to visit the Military Museum, but it was closed for renovation. We then visited the Capital Museum. It is a large museum with multiple floors, with free entry.

We then went to Wangfujing, where I visited 7 years before as part of a family trip. However, it was uninteresting and we left after having lunch there.

We visited Beijing Working People’s Cultural Palace afterwards. It is a popular place for wedding photos.

We then returned to Fangshan Liangxiang by metro and had dinner there.

The only middle-distance race in the series was held on day 4 in Qinglonghu Forest Park, which was a world ranking event.

The hotel I was staying was near the long-distance bus station. I first took an express bus to Fangshan to meet my friend Eric Wong, and caught a taxi to the event centre.


Qinglonghu Forest Park was a new place which wasn’t even on any maps I found. It is located in the region of the map below.

Qinglonghu Forest Park

The course was 6.5 km long and 270 m climb, which was much longer than middle-distance races in Hong Kong. However, the road network was extensive and straight lines were possible in many places, which meant that the general runnability was very high.
race 2 map

However, at the very beginning of the race, from 1 to 2, I already made a mistake getting lost after missing a road junction, which cost me 7 minutes. Also, as I didn’t have the physical fitness for running hills, I used about 88.5 minutes to complete the race, while the winning time was about 34 minutes, which meant I could only get the minimum score of 10 in the world ranking.

The split analysis showed my base time (speed index) was 226% and about 13.5 minutes mistake, which meant that even if I avoided the mistakes and performed better, I still needed about 75 minutes to run it, which could not gain me any useful score. Therefore, I would not go any middle/long WRE further because I didn’t have the physical fitness required for that, and concentrate on sprint and Trail-O where I still could perform better.

After the race, I and Eric took a bus back to Liangxiang, where we would stay for the coming two nights. There were no taxis around the event centre because there was very rural with few people outside the race.

Beijing O Week – Day 3

Day 3 was designated as the sightseeing day. I visited Nanluoguxiang, Tian’anmen, Zhongshan Park and China Railway Museum in order.

As I stayed at a hotel in Nanluoguxiang the preceding night, Nanluoguxiang was the first place I visited. It is an old walled village from ancient times, with residents and schools inside.


Afterwards, I visited Tian’anmen. Here is a standard photo taken there:


Then I went to Zhongshan Park:

Finally, I visited China Railway Museum. It introduced the railway history from Qing Dynasty to modern times, railway technologies, and also the life of overseas workers. There was also a mock CRH EMU driving cab, and 3-D models of various railways in China, including the Qinghai-Tibet Railway which passes between lots of mountains on the Tibetan Plateau, with the spot heights of the mountains marked on the model.

Afterwards, I went to the hotel I booked with mistake before, which was near Friendship Hospital.

It was the highest-class hotel among the 7 I stayed, and it was an international hotel with very expensive rate. However, Ctrip offered me a huge discount on that.

Beijing O Week – Day 2

The opening ceremony was held the day after the first race in the National Swimming Centre (Water Cube). It was more direct to take a motorway bus than to take a train from Huairou to Beijing in order to transfer to there.

After having lunch, I took the express bus 916 fast back to Beijing, which took about 45 minutes from Huairou to Beijing. That bus was very frequent, with departures in every 2 minutes. It was very popular to the extent that some passengers got no seat on the motorway even in off-peak hours.

In the opening ceremony, there was introduction to some of the elites in the race, and also photos taken from the first race held in Hongluosi.

The guest speeches in the ceremony included a long speech about the policy from the 19th Congress, which was in progress at that time, and developing “sports speciality town”. However, the speech was in Chinese, which most people there obviously don’t understand.

I planned to stay at a hotel on the south side of the city, near Tiantan Park. As there are no metro lines running near the central north-south line of Beijing, I took bus 82, planning to transfer to bus 5, which form nearly a straight line passing through the city centre, just running on the edge of Tian’anmen.

Bus 82 runs between the National Stadium (Bird Nest) and Qianmen (near Tian’anmen Square) on a direct north-south route between the 4th ring and the city centre. It was very popular and the bus I took was immediately full at the stop I boarded.

As the bus entered the 2nd ring towards city centre, roads became very congested. I alighted at Gulou and had a dinner, planning to take bus 5 afterwards.

However, at that time, I found out that I made my hotel booking wrongly – I had entered the date 1 day late, 26 October to 27 October instead of 25 October to 26 October. That booking was not refundable so I had to change my travel plan, and walked-in to a nearby hotel inside Nanluoguxiang. That hotel is a courtyard-style hotel popular among foreign tourists as it is reasonably-priced and near to major attractions.

When I woke up in the morning, I received a message that my hotel booking on that night was cancelled because the hotel couldn’t accept foreigners. However, I ain’t a foreigner so I called the hotel for clarification. The hotel replied it could accept me, and I called Ctrip afterwards. Ctrip tried to recover my booking but it couldn’t because the refund was already made. I called the hotel again and was told to walk-in in the evening.

The first race of Beijing O Week was held at Hongluosi, about 6 km north of Huairou. There is only one bus serving Hongluosi, which is numbered H57, from Huairou. That bus run on about 40-minute interval, and was going to reduce to an hour interval a few days later according to a notice stuck on the bus stop.

Before the race, we took a group photo there.

PWT China Tour 2017 athletes

There was a start list shown, but all the local Chinese runners were missing.

The ticket for Hongluosi cost CNY 54, which I didn’t think it was worthwhile for me to recommend this place to tourists.

Hongluosi, as the name states, is a temple. There are a few places inside with a lot of statues, which makes orienteering very interesting. As the statues are made of rock, they are represented on the map (around points 10 to 13) using black dots. They all face to a particular direction.

Hongluosi map 1
Hongluosi map 2

The maps were given back to back, i.e. map exchange was done by turning over the map. However, on the start of race, I tried to find the start triangle on the map for a very long time, and found out that I was reading the wrong side of the map (i.e. the 2nd map)! This was a very large mistake, cost me nearly a minute.

As the place was on a hillside, there were many contour lines on the map. I was poor in running hills, wherever there was a upward slope, I would be very slow on otherwise perfectly runnable terrain. The map stated that the course length was 2.4 km, and the climb was 230 m, however I didn’t think the climb figure was true after running, which should be around half of the stated figure. The effect was clearly shown by comparing my performance on the first race with the most climb, and the last race with basically no climb. The winning time was 14 minutes and 25 seconds, and my time was 31 minutes and 11 seconds.

All the races gave prize money to the winners, but as nearly all of the competitors were world class elites, it was impossible for me to took any of them.

After finishing the race, I took the bus H57 back to Huairou, and went to the hotel for my second night there, which was a different one from my first night.

The hotel was near to a local market with cooked food stall, where the food was very good.

After I arrived Beijing West, I bought a train ticket to Huairou, where I would be staying that night. I then had breakfast, bought a transport card, and took the metro to Tiantandongmen, about 1 km from Tiantan Hotel.

The transport card costs CNY 20 as the deposit which can be refunded by returning it at designated stations, including the airport and train station. By using that card, 50% discount is applied on most bus travel, effectively making buses in the city cost CNY 1 per trip.

Tiantan Hotel is located in an area with sports headquarters, and there are a lot of sports shops around.

I arrived Tiantan Hotel just after 9 am, but everything was not ready by that time. Only a teacher appeared and she helped me to register. She told me that she would bring the e-card, T-shirt and number bib to me on the race day. After that, I took a bus to somewhere near Beijing East Station.

Beijing East Station is located in a village inside city. It is a main cargo station for Beijing, but the passenger station was small and aged, with only few departures per day. Its usage was so little that only before a train arrives the station was opened to passengers, and the supermarket for the station was already out of business.

That day was the second last day Beijing East Station was in business, it was closed for renovation until the end of the year.

After having lunch, I took a train to Huairou. That train was a double-decker tourism train, which is rare in mainland China. It took less than an hour from Beijing East to Huairou.

After arriving Huairou, I took the bus 916 to the hotel. Bus 916 is the only bus connecting Huairou to Beijing. It has two variants, fast and slow. Fast buses run on motorway but slow buses don’t. These rural buses have early first and last departures, starting the service before dawn and ending the service just after dusk.

As I didn’t plan any tourism on that day, I went back to hotel and prepared for the next day’s competition, and booked the hotel stay for the coming night.

Beijing O Week this year was held from 23 October to 31 October, in Beijing and surrounding areas, in conjunction with Park World China Tour. This was the first overseas (outside of Hong Kong – Macau – Guangdong) competition that I participated on my own (not as part of a federation / institution / team), the first international event where I arranged travel all by myself, and also the first overseas travel where I incorporated tourism into my trip for international event, making me a sports tourist.

The calendar had long shown that the world ranking event would be held on 28 October and 29 October, however, the bulletin 1 only arrived less than a week before the event, resulting in too little time for me to prepare. Also, because of the tight time, I couldn’t get a heavily discounted air ticket between Hong Kong and Beijing, and only bought a discounted single-journey ticket from Beijing to Hong Kong.

According to the foot-O rules, bulletin 1 should arrive 4 months before the event, with basic information including the event arena and embargoed areas, but it didn’t include those vital details, and when I asked the China organiser where I should book my hotel stay, they only suggested me 2 hotels in the city, which were completely useless for me. I ended up only booking the hotel stay of the first night (23 Oct – 24 Oct) in the area according to the Park World Tour website which is Huairou, and planned to book the remaining nights on the go.

As the bulletin told me to report between 09:00 – 18:00 on 23 Oct, I planned to take a fast sleeper train from Shenzhen North to Beijing West, which depart in the evening 22 October and arrive in the morning 23 October. I had a local competition on 22 October and had to go immediately after finishing the competition, and planned to depart Wan Chai Gap at 16:00.

Because I didn’t have a 12306 account at that time to book a train ticket, I planned to go to Futian Station, buy the sleeper train ticket from Shenzhen North to Beijing West and a connecting high-speed train ticket from Futian to Shenzhen North together, and take the high-speed train from Futian to Shenzhen North to connect to the overnight train to Beijing West.

I planned to take bus 15 from Wan Chai Gap to Admiralty, transfer to bus 968 to Yuen Long, then bus B1 to Futian Port, and finally metro Line 4 to Civic Centre, which connects to Futian train station by an underground walkway, and expected to take about 2 hours and 5 minutes. The last sleeper train from Shenzhen North to Beijing West with beds available on that day was going to depart at 19:50, and the last connecting high-speed train was going to depart at 19:15 from Futian.

However, because of a mistake in the local competition, I departed Wan Chai Gap 15 minutes late at 16:15, and took buses 15 to Admiralty, then buses 969 and A36 to Yuen Long (which run on the same route as bus 968). When I attempted to transfer to bus B1 for the border port, consecutive buses were completely full and skipped the stop (Yoho Mall I) where I was waiting. Only after 40 minutes there was a nearly full bus arrived and everyone squeezed onto that bus.

I then crossed the border, took the metro Line 4, and walked to the train station at Futian. I approached the ticket counter and ask for tickets for Futian – Shenzhen North – Beijing West. However, the office couldn’t issue me the ticket for the first segment because tickets could only be issued 20 minutes before the departure time, and I didn’t know such rule and expected to get the ticket for immediate departure. By the time I arrived the ticket counter there were only about 10 – 15 minutes before 19:15 departure time due to the delay in boarding B1 bus before, and I could only get a ticket for the Shenzhen North – Beijing West leg, which was going to depart at 19:50, at about 40 minutes before departure, and I had to go to Shenzhen North Station by my own mean.

I demanded the sleeper ticket immediately and took out my identification and a pile of cash, got the ticket and ran to the boulevard above and caught a taxi to Shenzhen North Station in Longhua. That taxi ride cost me about CNY 50, compared to CNY 15 if I was able to take the high-speed train to Shenzhen North. After passing 2 security checks (1 at entrance and 1 specifically for Beijing-bound trains), I reached the gate 7 minutes before departure, i.e. 2 minutes before the gate closed.

The train D910 to Beijing West departed at 19:50. Everyone on board was offered a set dinner.

However, as I didn’t have a proper dinner before boarding the train, I also went to the dining car and ordered a business dinner and a cup of soup.

After the night, I arrived Beijing West in the morning.