Running Mountains in May

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The flag-bearing students may have been loud (a fierce Peking & Tsinghua Uni rivalry) at the 2009 Beijing marathon, but few students outran the 50-something couple who cruised past me at 32km on the lonely stretch before turning into the Olympic Park. As I hit my wall-shuffle, she in her hand-patched lycra shorts, was casually discussing pace-time with her husband. Not surprising. Beijing’s youth may be strutting their stuff at the city’s fitness clubs each evening, but it’s the elderly who sweat it out in city parks early each morning, irrespective of weather.

Beijing has a fantastic mountain range 80mins drive to the North, but a dearth of recreational running events. May brings running to the masses.

The North Face 100 is being held on Satuday 8th May up in Changping around the Ming tombs. There will be 10k, 50k and 100k races. Most of the route is on hilly trails. The 50k has 1,700m in ascents. Ascents on the 100k are mind-boggling.

The following Saturday, 15th May, the Great Wall Marathon returns with it’s 5,164 steps.  I’ll be making the most of May by representing Lihong on the shorter North Face 50k followed by 42k on the Great Wall.

Wonder if that couple will be there?

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