JDer Ella Kidron Explores Beijing through Running, in Award-Winning Video

JDer Ella Kidron Explores Beijing through Running, in Award-Winning Video

by Kelly Dawson

JDer Ella Kidron fell in love with Beijing on her runs around the sprawling capitol city. As a New Yorker and former athlete who now works for JD.com’s global PR team in China’s capitol city, her life can be hectic. “Running in Beijing is about juxtaposition,” she says in a video she made to honor the city she now calls home. “It’s enjoying the quiet, in a bustling city.”

Titled “Discovering Beijing’s Limitless Possibilities,” Kidron’s submission to Beijing’s “100 Reasons to Love Beijing” video competition hosted by Beijing municipal government was awarded at a ceremony in Beijing’s Forbidden City Museum on May 14.




“I wanted to make this video to honor a city that has become home,” she said in an interview at the ceremony.

The video, which was filmed by JD colleagues Yuchuan Wang and Hui Zhang, is a testament to both Kidron’s affection for the city and the disciplined focus she brings to her life here. Running in Beijing provides perspective, clarity and inspiration.

“It’s shuttling back and forth between history and modernity,” she says in the video as she runs past a Hermès store, across a classical Chinese bridge and then down one of Beijing’s traditional hutong alleys. “It’s exploring thousands of years of history on the one hand, and welcoming the opportunity that tomorrow brings on the other.”

Running has also been a way of connecting with new friends and colleagues in Beijing. In the video, she is pictured running with JD co-workers, who have been an enormous part of her experience of Beijing, she said. “It was important to me that I feature them in the video, because it’s thanks to them that I can speak more fluently in Chinese today, and that I feel so comfortable here.”

Kidron’s running journey in Beijing has been winding, and originally began in a different sport and city entirely. Before she made Beijing home, she visited the city twice—first as a tourist who eagerly watched the 2008 Olympics, and second as an Olympic hopeful in swimming, training over one summer in preparation for the 2012 US Olympic Trials. When she left to go home after her second trip, she “felt like [she’d] left a piece of [her] heart in Beijing.”

When she didn’t make the Olympic team, she took up running as she transitioned out of swimming—but never stopped thinking about Beijing. When she was given an opportunity to move to the city in 2015, she jumped at the chance.

The city was chaotic, big and exciting. Running was a way to explore her new home, and she soon found herself running almost daily.  In the years since, she has traversed countless neighborhoods all over the capitol city—but there’s still more to see, she says.

“Running in Beijing means treasure hunts, mystery and surprise,” she says in the video. “It’s a reminder of the unlimited possibilities of this city. It makes this place, which is over 6,000 miles away from where I grew up, feel like home.”



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