12,000 km – Culture connected by steps – 用奔跑的脚步连接起文化

12000 km culture marathon
Hamburg – Shanghai

run to breakdown prejudice

Hello, my name is Kai Markus Xiong and I’m the german with a chinese family name as i married with a chinese. I’m 45 years old and i was working in finance and consulting industry up to 2015/2016.

In 2017, I was able to chase my own lifelong dream and run from Hamburg to Shanghai as a culture marathon.

Through 8 countries (Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China) with more than 6000 km of deserts, the Pamier mountains and completely crossed China.

Not everything went smoothly you can imagine and so I had to spend several months in a wheelchair and with crutches after a heavy operation.

But I did it, I realized my lifelong dream – different than I thought – but I succeeded.

Here is more information on the initiative „run to breakdown prejudice – https://www.runmysilkroad.com

Societies drifting apart

Step by step, I realized how our societies are drifting apart and how some manage to drive a wedge into our society through prejudice.

That was one of the core moments of my idea to start an initiative to draw attention to prejudice.

In addition, however, I kept asking myself which models or role models our young people are emulating? Words such as discipline, respect, hard work, and reach goals do not seem to be so high in the classroom anymore.

A lifelong dream, doing something for our society. Admittedly, a small contribution that can not change the world in its entirety, but big enough to influence some of us and motivate for a change – smaller or bigger.

My main goals i wanted to reach: 

  1. build a cultural bridge over 8 Countries
  2. encourage social responsibility
  3. motivate young generation to follow their goals
  4. break down prejudice

How to reach attention and fight for a dream?

To be able to talk about these topics, I had to pay attention to the topic and thus to me. I quickly realized that in our time, driven by superlatives, we need just that – something crazy. But also something it´s me.

The idea of ​​the Culture-Bridge-Marathon „run to breakdown prejudice“ was born.

30 Years sister citizenship Hamburg-Shanghai and Hamburg Summit in 2016

It was a kind of fate that exactly at this time the city partnership between Hamburg and Shanghai celebrated its 30th anniversary and we had the Hamburg Summit held which is every 2 years in Hamburg.

A good moment to start which helps me to keep added attention.

The self-described „crazy“ man has embarked on journey that will take him through eight countries and take 235 days. He said there was always the risk of something going wrong but „Germans are known for our good plans.“

Senate chancellery Hamburg supports Kai Markus Xiong


How do I manage to integrate the family relation, to be emotionally guided and lead by it?

My son was just born, my wife was new in Germany and so the pressure to realize my lifelong dream quickly but also successfully came true. And family plays an enormous role, because I wanted to be a role model for my son too. In life there will be enough challenges where children take an example from their parents.

Since my son is a mixed nationality, it has always been important for me to enable him to have his own identity. Hence his name Xavier-Xushu Xiong – 3 „X“ in the name, many possibilities for jokes but also for the creation of his own identity. Lovingly I often call you „triple x“ and he could later relax with three X sign. The laughter would always be on his side.

Family Xiong in Xi´an / China

The logo – Panda bear and Oak tree leave

Xiong is chinese and means „Bear“ and as we know the panda bear is a kind of national symbol of chinese. Bears are strong, independent, can survive in all kind of situations. From Polar bear via the grizzly bear up to a lovely panda bear.

Xushu means something related to strong tree – and once i google the name i found the pictures of the german oak tree – a kind of national symbol of us germans.

The idea of my family logo as well as the initiative logo was born. And it was, as I later realized, an integral part of the success. Many people and news noticed this part of my emotional connectedness and conviction as the first and most sustainable.

Logo of Family Xiong and the https://www.runmysilkroad.com initiative


Preparation and start

As someone who has not had a sports career behind him, never appeared as a runner, 60-80 km are already a challenge. But that’s solvable, I knew that. It is much harder to find sponsors and supporters with these backgrounds.

Convincing other people of an idea asking you to support me and making this initiative successful with me was much harder than the daily running routine.

We have more than 815 slaps – my friends who represent my team and I brought us.

Not everyone was always happy and there was one or the other who advised me to give up. But I did not want to do this before I got 1000’s. That was something I learned early. And this time it should turn out: It works if you persevere countries. But to be honest, without discipline and seriousness and conscientious preparation, that would not help either.

12. March 2017 – start in Hamburg

What happened next, when I actually started on March 12, 2017 – after only nine months of intensive preparation was unique to me and just as amazing. It was the realization of a dream of life that should end differently than planned – but still today I am happy and content here and work on the topics I have on my bucket list.


short documentary

Some impressions of the whole initiative you can find in this short documentary from Nihao Deutschland. They accompany me with daily live show about 2-4 minutes in TV. The english version will follow asap the same like a documentary cinema movie where i just work on.


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