Tidal Basin Run presents
Sunday, June 25, 2017, at 10:00 AM
Thomas Jefferson Community Center
3501 2nd Street South, Arlington VA 22204


Michael Wardian runs with Grant and Pierce
Michael Wardian runs with Grant and Pierce
  • Complete 2017 results
  • Congratulations to our top 3 male and female finishers:
    1  Benn Thomas, Arlington VA, 2:58:26
    2  Jason Lippy, Midlothian VA, 3:21:10
    3  Taylor Giberson, Boise ID, 3:39:51
    1  Renee Metzger Butler, Bethesda MD, 4:04:43
    2  Heather Handzo, Toms River NJ, 4:49:39
    3  Casey Osborne, Williamsport MD, 5:06:54
    and all other finishers!
  • For questions, please write us
  • 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

  • How about 211 laps around the 200-meter indoor track at Thomas Jefferson Community Center
  • for the 8th annual Grant-Pierce Indoor Marathon, in pursuit of a World Record?
  • The 8th annual Grant-Pierce Indoor Marathon is Sunday, June 25, starting at 10:00 AM, at Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd Street South, Arlington VA.


  • In 2017, Benn Thomas of Arlington VA registered late Saturday night before the race and won the next day in 2:58:26. Renee Metzger Butler of Bethesda MD triumphed in the women's race in 4:04:43.
  • In 2016, as in Cleveland in 1964, the Browns won, with Karsten Brown first among men and Maya Ellis Brown (no relation) first among women. | 2016 Results
  • In 2015, no world records, but first-place finishes for Matthew John Perkins and Sonya A. Bingham among 45 starters and 44 finishers | 2015 Results
  • In 2014, Chuck Engle set world masters record, and Kristen Jaremback and Jay Jacob Wind set American records for women overall and men 60+, among 43 starters and 40 finishers | 2014 Results
  • In 2013, Michael Wardian of Arlington VA set the world record for the fastest 50K ever run on an indoor track, 3:12:13.
  • In 2013, we had 55 starters and 51 finishers, including 17 who continued on to 50K. Winners: Michael Wardian and Alison Slade in the marathon, Wardian (with an indoor 50K world record 3:12:13) and Cathy Ahn in the 50K | 2013 Results | 2013 t-shirt | 2013 welcome letter | 2013 printable results
  • In 2012, Barry Goldmeier set a world record for the fastest marathon ever indoors run juggling three balls, and Chris Campbell set a world record for the fastest marathon ever run indoors wearing a kilt. (Believe it or not, Guinness actually tracks these records.)
  • In 2012, we had 43 starters and 36 finishers. Winners: Michael Wardian and Dana Casanave | 2012 Results | 2012 welcome letter
  • In 2011, we had 14 starters and 10 finishers. Winners: Michael Wardian and Dana Casanave | 2011 Results
  • In 2010, Wardian set the world record for the fastest marathon ever run on an indoor track, 2:27:12.
  • In 2010, we had 7 starters and 4 finishers. Winner: Michael Wardian (with a world record 2:27:12) | 2010 Results

    Join our e-mail list for announcements

    Records: Only six places in the USA currently host indoor marathons:

  • Ada OH (2010-2015) | 2014 results
  • Arlington VA (2010-2015)
  • Goshen IN (2011-2015)
  • Hagerstown MD (2012-2014), moved to Arlington VA (2015)
  • Northfield MN (2008-2015)
  • New York NY (2016-2017)

  • Chicago IL hosted an indoor marathon in 1986

  • West Allis WI hosts Icebreaker Indoor Marathon on a non-standard 442.8m course, neither 200 meters, 220 yards, 400 meters, nor 440 yards, and thus not record-eligible.

    Other indoor marathons wordwide since 2008:

  • Aarhus DEN (2009)
  • Kazan RUS (2009)
  • Montreal PQ CAN (2012-2013)
  • Moscow RUS (2009-2014)
  • Mustasaari FIN (2008-2014)
  • Ottawa ON CAN (2013)
  • Sainte-Foy PQ CAN (2013)
  • Senftenberg GER (2008-2014)
  • Sherbrooke PQ/CAN (2012)
  • Thunder Bay ON CAN (2010-2014)
  • Toronto ON CAN (2012-2014)

    The Belt Buckle

  • All finishers earn the coveted Grant-Pierce Indoor Marathon belt buckle Buckle

    Full Information

  • For full information and registration, please see www.racepacket.com/tidalbasin/marathon.html
  • We look forward to welcoming you as a participant or a spectator!
  • Directions:

  • From Baltimore and points north:
        • Take I-95 or BW Parkway south to I-495 Capital Beltway WEST (outer loop)
        • Take I-495 Beltway to I-66 EAST (a left-hand exit after Tyson's Corner.
        • Take I-66 EAST to VA 120 Glebe Road exit SOUTH.
        • Take VA 120 Glebe Road two miles SOUTH across Route 50.
        • Turn LEFT on 2nd Street South (Sunoco station / 7-11 at corner)
        • Take 2nd Street South for one block to Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd Street South, second parking lot on the left.
        • Enter thru Door #12.

    Records Q&A

  • To be an American or world record, an indoor race must be held on a 200-meter or 220-yard covered track.
  • After extensive research, we have now identified several indoor 50Ks in the past.
  • Bislett 50K Indoor was held in Norway on held February 16, 2013, on a non-standard 545-meter track
    News coverage and photos
          • Entry Form
          • Facebook page
          • Searchable results
          • Printable results
                • It is possible that NO American Indoor 50K records exist other than our race in 2013.

  • The marks at Bislett, however, are neither indoor track records nor even general track records, according to Ken Young, Association of Road Racing Statisticians (www.arrs.net), the keeper of world and American records. He wrote:
    I "tracked" down the details on the track and it turns out to be a 545m "track" circuit inside Bislett Stadium ... The maximum allowable size for indoor tracks to be considered for records is 220 yd (slightly more than 200 meters). This "track" (at Bislett) is larger than the standard outdoor track and as such, I classify it with road races rather than track races. Hence, no records at the Bislett indoor 50K. It doesn't even qualify for indoor rankings.
    -- Ken Young, Association of Road Racing Statisticians
    -- July 7, 2013

  • Results of the Moscow (RUS) Night Ultramarathon 6h - 50km Split
  • February 14-15, 2014 | Results
  • February 15-16, 2013 | Results
  • January 28-29, 2011 | Results
  • January 29, 2011 | Results
  • January 25-26, 2008 | Results
  • February 01-02, 2002 | Results
  • World-record keepers Andy Milroy, International Association of Ultrarunners statistician and Ken Young, Association of Road Running Statisticians report:
  • All-Time Performances - Marathon Indoor Track - All-Time Bests at www.arrs.net/AllTime/AL_ITMar.htm:
    Top 3 World Men
     2:27:21    ( 1)  Michael Wardian (VA/USA)         12 Apr 1974   01 Jul 2010  Arlington VA USA
     2:34:54    ( 1)  Joie Ray (USA)                   13 Apr 1894   24 Nov 1928  Boston MA USA
     2:35:51.9  ( 1)  Steef Kijne (NED)                31 May 1945   08 Jan 1978  Rotterdam NED
    Top 3 World Women
     2:53:53a   ( 1)  Monika Kalicinska (USA)                        04 Jan 2014  Toronto ON CAN
     2:57:34a   ( 1)  Nicole Porath (MN/USA)           01 Jul 1983   06 Jan 2013  Northfield MN USA
     3:08:53.8  ( 1)  Melissa Gillette (MI/USA)        09 Dec 1982   26 Feb 2012  Goshen IN USA
  • Marathon records with ages added NEW!
  • Re the American women's record of 2:57:34 by Nicole Porath on January 6, 2013, in Northfield MN | News coverage in Running Magazine | breaking the old record of 3:08:53.8 by Melissa Gillette set on February 26, 2012, in Goshen, Indiana | February 26, 2012 -- "World record likely set today at Maple Leaf Marathon" -- in The Elkhart Truth

  • All-Time Performances - 50 km Indoor Track
    Top 3 World Men
    3:12:13    ( 1)  Michael Wardian (USA)             12 Apr 1974   14 Jul 2013  Arlington VA/USA
    3:14:49+   ( 1)  Igor Tyazhkorob (UKR)             04 Dec 1967   01 Feb 2002  Moscow RUS
    3:18:10+   ( 2)  Anatoliy Kruglikov (RUS)          09 Oct 1957   01 Feb 2002  Moscow RUS
    Top 3 World Women
    3:54:11+   ( 1)  Marina (Bychkova) Zhalybina (RUS) 18 Dec 1975   30 Jan 2009  Moscow RUS
    3:54:53+   ( 1)  Marina (Zhalybina) Bychkova-2     18 Dec 1975   01 Feb 2002  Moscow RUS
    3:55:30+   ( 2)  Irina Vishnevskaya (RUS)          02 Jun 1982   30 Jan 2009  Moscow RUS
  • In 2010, marathon/ultramarathon champion Michael Wardian set a world record of 2:27:21 at this event, breaking Olympic Marathoner Joie Ray's record of 2:34:54, set in 1928 in Boston
  • In 2011, Wardian repeated his win, but his 3:15:19 came a week after he ran a six-day race across the Sahara Desert
  • In 2012, Wardian three-peated -- no world record, but a win is a win is a win -- and Dana Casanave two-peated as women's champion
  • In the marathon, Tidal Basin Run offers a $100 cash prize each to the male and female winner, $50 to second and third, PLUS a $100 bonus each to the male or female winner of the marathon or the 50K for a world record
  • Entry Fee: $55 by February 28, $60 by April 30, $65 by May 31, $70 by June 27, $75 after June 27
  • Add $10 for optional 50K
  • Tidal Basin Run members get a $10 discount
  • Volunteers: Volunteers who do not use the track are welcome for free. Volunteers, please report to James Scarborough. We need at least 10 volunteer timers each to fill in the MarathonLaps score sheet for 3 runners.
  • Doors open at 9:30 AM
  • Race starts at 10:00 AM
  • Time limit: six hours, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. During the marathon, the track is closed to the public.
  • Doors close at 4:30 PM.
  • Finisher's premium: In addition to t-shirts, we present a pewter belt buckle to all finishers within the six-hour time limit. (Traditionally, belt buckles are presented in 100-mile races. We hope it's OK to present them for a 211-lap race.)
  • You may order extra buckles - 1 for $20, 2 for $19 each, 3 for $18 each, 4 for $17 each, 5 for $16 each
  • T-shirt: We hope you like this year's t-shirt by Sport ScienceSportScience

    Some FAQs:

    Q. How many aid stations?
    A. Just one, but you pass it 210 times. You're never more than 200 meters from water, Simone Super Energy, Gatorade, and Carb Boom! (Use code SHARE for $5 off your purchase of Carb Boom!)

    Q. What's the temperature, Kevin?
    A. TJ's constant indoor temperature is 70 F.

    Q. How many lanes on the track?
    A. Four.

    Q. Do I have to stay in Lane 1, the inside lane?
    A. No. You may want to shift to an outer lane to allow faster runners to run in Lane 1.

    Q. Will accurate distance be measured regardless of lane?
    A. You must run 211 laps, but you may use any of the four lanes.

    Q. Are pacers/spectators allowed to run with racers?
    A. Yes, but only for parts of a full lap. The track is open only to entrants during the race.

    Q. May I place my own bottles on the aid station table?
    A. Yes, we will have several tables on the outside of the track, one just for personal provisions. Please mark your personal bottles with your name. No food please. Please take care not to spill on the floor of the gym. Refreshment tables will be on the outside of the track at the south end of the gym.

    Q. Can I bring my own jelly beans and chocolate?
    A. Yes, place them on the table for personal provisions. Since TJ does not allow food in the gym, please count your jelly beans. You wouldn't want to lose one.

    Q. What do the lap counters do?
    A. They each have 3 to 5 lap counting charts, one for each athlete. They record the time you finish each lap, or at least check off each lap, so they can report to you how many laps you have completed.

    Q. So, if I can't bring a volunteer, will there be anyone there who can count my laps?
    A. YES.

    Welcome to our Class of 2016:

  • If we don't have your story yet, please Use this form -- We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files. Tell us about your accomplishments as a marathoner / ultra-marathoner

  • Karen Andersen, F36, Philadelphia PA
  • Michael Bailey, M35, Midlothian VA: I chose this because it's the only marathon where I can't possibly get lost...and it's air conditioned.
  • Kristen Michelle Bieling, F29, Alexandria VA
  • Karsten Brown, M42, Front Royal VA
  • Maya Ellis Brown, F39, Washington DC
  • Renee Metzger Butler, F55, Bethesda MD: Women's winner of the 2003 Unofficial Washington DC Marathon
  • Troy Byers, M43, Alexandria VA: Marathon Maniac. This is my 45th marathon
  • Christopher Chern, M30, Arlington VA: 2nd time running. | Estimated finish: 4:45
  • Janet J. Choi, F46, Oakton VA: I've never done an indoor marathon. It will be a huge challenge for me!
  • Tim Cooley, M51, Hutto TX
  • Matt Craig, M43, Baltimore MD
  • Ling Xuan Dao, M38, Fairfax VA
  • Kenton Troy Davis, M45, Haymarket VA: 8 Ultra marathons + 7 Marathons + numerous short distance events since turning 40
  • Mark Domanski, M36, Arlington VA: Moved back to Arlington from Mississippi. Doing this for the second time!
  • Matthew Fitzgerald, M45, Kingston RI: Love running marathons
  • Lee Fitzpatrick, M71, Fairfax Station VA: Completed 50 States and 100+ marathons. I'm a slow and sure and will be 72 on June 29. | Estimated finish: 6:00
  • Barry Goldmeier, M51, Rockville MD: I juggle balls, beanbags, and other items when I run. I hold many national and world joggling records
  • Jeffrey Horowitz, M51, Washington DC: Author of Marine Corps Marathon: A History in Photos
  • Dustin Huebner, M43, Riverview FL: 14 marathons in 12 different cities and on 3 different continents (N.America, Africa, Europe). Nairobi was the highest (6000ft), Chicago was the hottest (85°), and Paris was the coldest (34°). Never completed an ultra but hope to get to 50K here!
  • Irina Kebreau, F42, Silver Spring MD
  • Ken Kirsch, M33, Hamilton NJ
  • Ruthie Kreuzer, F34, Yorktown VA: I have run 17 marathons in 15 states. I also participate in triathlons, most recently a half iron distance. I am an Air Force wife with three children, 2 dogs, 2 rabbits, and 7 chickens, and I am a professional harpist.
  • Sedar Mark Timothy Labarre, M43, Arlington VA
  • Bren K. Larkin, F47, Middle River MD: I've run somewhere around 40 marathons. I'll have to check for sure. I'm slow, but I get there eventually. I'll probably be last but I'm ok with that =)
  • Phillip Le, M25, Springfield VA: Running an indoor marathon sounds crazy fun especially with friends. Hopes are just to enjoy the process headed into a Fall marathon. I started running marathons in the last few years. Grant Pierce will be my fifth race at the marathon distance or higher. I ran my first 50k this year at the North Face Endurance challenge. I'm running this with my amigo, Becki, with whom I share a love of all crazy things running. Thanks Becki! Run faster! I'll be running the Richmond Marathon this fall so that'll be my big goal race for the year and I'm looking forward to all the miles needed to get there. I'm notoriously bad at getting lost so if I run off the track please pull me back on. ;)
  • Susan Carney Lynch, F49, Gaithersburg MD: I am training for my first 100 in august!
  • Michael Maddock Jr, M47, Fairfax VA
  • Tammy Jeanne Massie, F44, Gaithersburg MD: I am running my 2nd Grant Pierce Marathon but my 278th marathon or greater event. I have run 22 hundred milers over twenty 50 milers and many marathons. I live in Gaithersburg Maryland with one ragdoll cat: Sagwa and my husband: Tristan. My goal is to finish the marathon and have lots of fun doing so. My long term goal is to complete a marathon in every state by the time I turn 50 years old in 6 years.
  • Lucas Moten, M40, Baltimore MD: I've been running for just over 3 years, but haven't tried an indoor event yet. Have completed 4 marathons and 5 50ks. This event looks interesting from a mental masochistic sense, and I look forward to doing an indoor version of what I consider "nascar-on-foot" - a few hundred laps, go fast, turn left,
  • Matt O'Reilly, M31, Lawrence KS
  • Thomas Perri, M55, Maple Grove MN: I believe this will be marathon #365, and my 3rd time finishing VA.
  • Michael Alan Pulley, M50, Fayetteville NC
  • Sarah Smith, F35, Salisbury MD: This is my first marathon!! I am an avid mud runner...tough mudder, Spartan, savage etc...but never an actual marathon and I am soooo excited!!
  • Marvin Solberg, M55, Edgewater MD | Estimated finish: 4:10
  • Becki Spiering, F35, Arlington VA: My goal is to run all the marathons in Virginia and I'm excited to check this one off.
  • Keith Sullivan, M41, Alexandria VA
  • James C. Uzel, M56, Quinton VA
  • Samuel Van Valkenburg, M31, Buena Vista VA: This is my second marathon. I want to do my best in my running. I hope to try running ultra-distance races.
  • Jim Wahl, M69, Dayton OH: Have completed 261 marathons since 1982, including 70 ultras, 20/24 hour races, and 9 indoor marathons .... working on 300 marathons.
  • Natalie K. Wangner, F35, Woodbridge VA: I'm a mom of two wonderful and super-energetic preschoolers. I enjoy new adventures, what's more exciting than a indoor marathon.
  • Dave Weiss, M67, Corning NY: Running marathons is my hobby. The 2016 event will be my fourth Grant Pierce.
  • Jay Jacob Wind, M66, Arlington VA: I have finished 176 marathons and 5 ultras. I won 2013 Hawk Indoor Marathon in Hagerstown, making me the 9th oldest man ever to win a marathon worldwide.
  • Roger Wright, M55, Needham MA: I have always been overweight. In my teens I broke 200 lbs. In my 30s, 250lbs, and broke 300 lbs when I turned 40. I peaked around 320lbs. I'm only 5'6" to complete the picture. Simply put, I weighed so much because I ate poorly and loathed any type of exercise, especially running. When I was 46, after failing hundreds of diets, weight loss programs, etc, I felt the only way I could lose weight was surgery. Fortunately, after attending a seminar on it, came to my senses and swore it off. At 47, I chose a path to weight loss that didn't make any sense to anyone, except myself: I decided to run the 2009 Boston Marathon, which was a goal I had had since I was 7 when my father ran it. In 10 months, I lost 113 pounds and went from running 10 yards to running the Boston Marathon nonstop. In order to run Boston, I raised money for Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that my niece Julia suffers from. I made a video chronicling my progress and sent it out to friends and family in order to solicit donations. I called it "My Journey To The Boston Marathon" and was shocked that it received almost 3000 views in one year! 1.5 years later, a friend asked if he could repost the video on Youtube to help inspire others. I said yes and he called it "The Most Inspiring Video You Will Ever Watch." As of right now it has almost 8 million views, confirming that I should never go into marketing! Due to its popularity, I have received 1000s of email from others asking for my help, and I do what I can including running marathons with them all over the world. In the 7 years since I ran my first marathon, I have now run 47 full or ultra marathons. I do this to show people that, regardless of your past, you can change your future. I do it to remain healthy and challenge myself to work harder toward personal accomplishments. Finally, I do it to continue raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis community and to show my love for my niece Julia. Everyone has a story and this is mine. | WATCH THE VIDEO

    We provide music and trackside entertainment. Chuck Williams is our race-day announcer, and Abdelillah Razah staffs the trackside refreshments table with a variety of energy gels and fluids. (Please, no food in the gym.)

    We need volunteer lap counters. Please use our sign-up sheet to join us as a lap timer. One volunteer can time 3 to 5 runners.

    Please send us your marathon stories, so we make that part of the printed program.

    If you need overnight lodging, we have deals with Days Inn Pentagon, less than a mile from TJ ($76.08 including tax) and Key Bridge Marriott, about 3 miles from TJ ($129 a night plus tax).

    We look forward to hosting you on June 29. Let's set some world records together!

    Jay Jacob Wind, president, Tidal Basin Run

    Press Room:

  • July 17, 2013 -- "Indoor marathon adds 50k, Wardian sets provisional world record" -- in Washington Running Report
  • July-August 2013 -- "Grant Pierce Indoor Marathon: This event was organized by the Tidal Basin Run Club and featured a marathon as well as a 50K" -- in Arlington Magazine | on Twitter | On Facebook
  • January 23, 2009 -- "Indoor marathon follow-up: no record for you" -- in Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinal
  • Thank you for registering for Tidal Basin Run's Grant-Pierce Indoor Marathon, Sunday, June 25, starting at 10:00 AM at Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd Street South, Arlington VA 22204.
  • From Arlington Boulevard (Route 50), take Irving Street south.  Turn right on 2nd Street South and proceed to free parking in front of TJ Center.
  • Doors open at 9:30 AM.  We open race-day packet pick-up at 9:30 AM at the table inside door #12, the main entrance to TJ.  
  • Once you have your bib number, you may use the 200-meter indoor track to warm up.  Spectators may enter for free.  
  • For warm-ups, TJ also has a partly-shaded outdoor trail exactly 880 yards around -- 1/2 mile to the foot.
  • Once you receive your bib number, please pin it visibly on the front of your shirt, not folded or obscured in any way.  Our timing tags are embedded in your bib number.  Please do not fold over the timing tag.
  • At 9:45 AM, we introduce you to your lap timers. At 9:50 AM, we play the National Anthem.   At 9:55 AM, we gather all participants for final instructions.   At 9:59 AM, we gather on the track for the start at 10:00 AM sharp, according to the clock on the wall above the start line.
  • We run the race counter-clockwise, just like on an outdoor track.  During the race, please stay in the left-hand lane.  When you pass another runner, please move to one of the two center lanes.  
  • We serve refreshments alongside the outside lane of the track, so please move to the outside lane when you stop for water or athletic beverage.
  • Please bring a friend or relative to serve as a volunteer lap counter.  
  • Please take a look at www.racepacket.com/tidalbasin/MarathonLaps.pdf
  • We will have one score sheet for each runner.  The volunteer lap counters will fill in your time as you finish each lap.  They may also inform you which lap you're on and help you count to 211, if necessary.
  • Radio personality Chuck Williams will keep you on your toes and motivated throughout the race.
  • After you finish, you may claim one of the pewter Grant-Pierce Marathon belt buckles, provided by Dynabuckle.  One to a customer, please.  
  • These belt buckles will be even more memorable than just the t-shirt.
  • Immediately after you finish, Tidal Basin Run will present a check for $100 to the first male and first female finishers, $50 to second and third, plus a $100 bonus if the winner breaks a world record.
  • On Sunday evening after the marathon, please look for complete results at www.racepacket.com/tidalbasin/20170625.html
  • Net proceeds go to cover refreshments and our RRCA non-profit membership.


  • We conduct a free 1500m, 3000m, and 5000m at 12 noon on the third Wednesday of each month at Hains Point, East Potomac Park, Washington DC.
  • We also conduct races on national holidays, usually at 12 noon, for $5 members, $10 non-members, featuring Chris Farmer's fantastic brownies.
  • See www.racepacket.com/tidalbasin for full information.
  • We also invite you to our friends' races -- see www.racepacket.com, www.pvtc.org, www.safetyandhealthfoundation.org, and www.mc-coop.org for lists of upcoming events.

    -- Thank you
    -- Event directors
    -- Jay Jacob Wind, president, Tidal Basin Run 
    -- racedirector@att.net
    -- 703-927-4833 (recorded message)
    -- 703-521-6157 (my fax machine)

    Michael Wardian dedicated his 2012 victory to his friend and inspiration, fellow North Face athlete Yan Dongdong.
    About Dongdong:
  • Born in 1984, Dongdong started climbing mountains in 2002, his freshman year in college. After graduating in 2005, Dongdong became a freelance translator, because such a lifestyle would grant a lot of free time - time to train for and go to the mountains. In May 2008, he was among the assault group which escorted the Olympic Torch to the summit of Everest, after eighteen months' training at the Chinese National Mountaineering Center. Dongdong then began to pursue the more simple, more intense form of mountaineering - exploring unknown areas and new peaks and routes in pure Alpine style, relying on the judgment and technical aptitude of himself and his partner(s) rather than large groups, fixed ropes or backup support. In January 2010, he became a sponsored athlete of The North Face China.
  • Since 2002, Dongdong had been on more than 40 expeditions and reached the summits of more than 20 peaks above 5000m including many first ascents and new routes including a 2008 Everest expedition.
  • On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, Dongdong was killed in the Xinjiang Province of China. He was on an expedition on Tomur, the highest peak in the Tianshan mountains, when he fell into a crevasse.