Man to run in German marathons, but backwards


TAIPEI, dpa

A man announced Thursday that he will join two marathons in Germany in September, but will run backwards in both races.

Hsueh Ching-kuang, 56, nicknamed Backman Tony for his love of running backwards, told a news conference in Taipei that he will hold up Taiwan’s national flag in both races to tell the world that Taiwan is a sovereign country, not part of China. Hueh will take part in the Sept. 10-17 cross-Germany super marathon, or Deutschlandlauf 2007. Forty-seven international runners will take part in the 1,205- kilometre race which will start at the Kap Arkona Light Lighthouse in northeast Germany, and finish at Loerrach at the German-Swiss border.

They will run an average of 71 km per day, and Hsueh will be the only one who will run backwards. It will be Hsueh’s 160th backward- run challenge since 1999 when he began to run backwards to improve health following a serious liver illness. After Deutschlandlauf 2007, Hsueh will attend the Berlin Skating Marathon on Sept. 29, and the 34th Berlin Marathon on Sept. 30, rollerskating and running backward in both events.