TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Tourism Bureau has recently released a video about the story of New Zealand ultra runner Ruth Croft’s athletic upbringing and life after she moved to Taiwan.
The bureau said in a press release that it launched the two-minute video, “Discover a Higher Love,” in celebration of International Mountain Day.
In the video, Croft describes running as something she did since a young age but was never serious about turning it into a career.
“The years of training and competing caught up to me, and I got to a point where I just wanted something completely new, and so I decided to move to Taipei,” Croft said.
She recounted that she initially experienced culture shock after her move, but the friendliness of the Taiwanese made it easier to adapt to life in the new country.
“I didn’t speak the language. I didn’t know the culture. But I was only made to feel welcomed,” she said. “People always go out of their way to help you, and they really gave me a sense of belonging.”
“When everything around you is new, you are more open to people with your stories and you start enjoying the small things in life, and through that, I got more energy and more life,” she continued.
Shortly after she moved to Taiwan, she started running again. She now competes professionally in races all over the world.
The video shows her training on several of Taiwan’s many beautiful trails, visiting some of Taiwan’s world-famous tea plantations, and experiencing the country's Hakka and Indigenous cultures.
“As much as I was trying to leave it behind," she said of running, "I realize it is a part of me and who I am. Taiwan holds a special place in my heart.”
(Taiwan Tourism Bureau video)