Sunday, March 16, 2014

Great Wall Marathon

The Great Wall Marathon includes a 9km run that takes all of the runners up, across, and then down the Great Wall of China. The race has been going on for close to a decade. It is said that during this part of the race, each runner has to ascend 5,000 or so steps. Not only are the steps a tough challenge, but sometimes the ascents and descents that the runners have to deal with are quite steep. Many times those participating in the marathon are urged to go slowly up and down the mountain and to walk at the highest parts of it. Even worse, if you’ve trained for the full Great Wall Marathon, you complete this course twice- those running half only have to run the Wall once. The run also takes participants through rice fields and villages. The challenges during this leg of the race aren’t as tough, and runners run on gravel and asphalt roads, which make for comfortable conditions. Although, those running the full distance are warned of the ascent around the 21km mark of the race. As crazy as it sounds, those who are trained and fully ready can finish the marathon in 5-6 hours (after 8 hours there is a cut off for those who have not finished).

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