Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Great Wall Half Marathon Race
I first saw the ad at Runnr Store in Fort Bonifacio but thought it was too crazy to do for an ordinary road runner. But I keep going back to the store and I keep seeing the poster.
Price was too steep for a visit in China so I let it go and put it as one of my potential wish lists. It was even featured in Runner's World Magazine as one of the Marathons to do in a lifetime - Run a World Wonder!
But then came a price reduction in the China package. Nearly half the price from where it was originally quoted. And for this year only! Hmmmmm......
I gave the idea to Per. She gave me an "evil look" as she knows I'm injured but hard headed. Just like in Cebu. Just like in Condura. And this was worse - 7,800 steps for a 42.2km race starting in the high altitude air of China (meaning hard to breathe) and at a late starting time of 7:30am (when the sun is scorching hot!!!).
So we ended up meeting half way by me registering for the half marathon event. Figured it should still be fun and won't be too tired that I will rest at hotel instead of touring around Beijing. Per I kinda pushed to do the 10km as she is more than ready with a handful of 21km races finished in Philippine races already.
We met some hard core Filipinos at the airport, who were mostly doing the Full Marathon. To summarize, there's a hard core navy dude from Guam, a New York marathon finisher, 3 hard core runners focusing on Ultra Marathons, a Triathlete and us - A (leisure) RUNNING FATBOY and his RUNNING WIFE! See the difference???
But we were not intimidated. After all, I have more stored fat for that extra energy needed for the race! Haha!
And no time pressure as limit set at 8 hours for all race categories! A finisher medal will be placed around one's neck once he/she crosses the finish line. So how did we do? Well, I will let the photos describe it. After all, a single photo is worth a thousand words! So with these photos, I've essentially written a novel! Haha!
Race kits we got from our hotel lobby, which was the official hotel for this Marathon.
Per got her finisher medal but what did she have to do to attain it?
See pictures below taken from Per's camera:
That's a lot of freaking steps!
That's a lot of freaking UNEVEN Steps!
Scary toilet and trust me... you don't want to see what's inside!
Why a repetitive photo? Just to show what 42.2km runners had to do : Run the Wall TWICE!!!
Cool weather helped bring a smile to Per's face!
Fast runners slowly coming in to cross the finish line
Filipino group! Go Pinoys! Everyone finished this hard core race.
Perfect end for this race: China BEER!
Big thanks to Berns for negotiating for us the cheaper package rate. This race was just one of the highlights of our trip in China. I would think it's meeting all these wonderful people that made our trip more enjoyable.