The Great Wall Marathon plans 2018

Well, the last few weeks have been interesting… I have made the monumental decision to enter the Great Wall marathon 2018 and set this as a goal to put all my efforts into.  I’ve no races planned this year at all … but there’s something about this event that has me hooked.

Its not quite like a normal marathon of ‘plodding the miles’, it has over 5,000 steps to navigate (5,164 to be precise for the full marathon) and revered as one of the worlds challenging marathons.

Established since 1999 its run every third Saturday of May each year.  Whether I do the full or half marathon is yet to be decided (based on my fitness levels at the time of booking) but my hankering to re-visit the Great Wall as well as being back in China is something I can’t ignore for much longer.


From 1992-1996 I spent 4 years living it up as an expat in Hong Kong, (the days of 9 hours of Thai Boxing per week and every other night on the booze are long gone) and had the chance to visit Beijing and see the beautiful Forbidden City, Summer Palace and many other of jaw-dropping tourist attractions.  Its always been somewhere I have wanted to return to.


Researching and chatting to some YouTubers who have completed the half and full Great Wall marathons, they have all advised to do plenty of squats and lunges for the steps and to concentrate on this rather than getting the mileage in.  The steps add hours onto your normal marathon time, which isn’t a problem for me as I have no marathon time.

So my Jeff Galloway technique of training for this event is perfect and after 3 x 10 squats and 3 x 10 lunges yesterday, I can really feel the DOMs today and know I need to concentrate on strength more and continue to train injury free with Jeff’s technique.  Its my best chances of getting through the event in one piece.  Ohh did I mention it will be hot and humid too – 30 degrees Celsius? I need to step up with hydration quite significantly.

Elevations… (gulp).elevationmap2016As you can imagine, the package itself isn’t cheap, there are a few tour operators offering overseas runner packages with sight-seeing options (Ming Tombs etc), and that’s the only way to get race entry.. ohh and this expense would be on top of potentially buying a house this year too!  BUT, I have my heart set on this AND its a once in a lifetime event to attend.  Interestingly enough, the cost will be the same for my husband (not sure for my daughter) – so they may as well do the 5k fun run on offer!

Plenty of hill training for me, plenty of swimming, running, squats, lunges, burpees …. this is going to be HARD – BUT its also achievable if I focus and get serious and of course its very, very exciting.

Already been bugging some of my ultra and fell running friends for advice and plenty of training with them up hills and pushing myself. Most importantly will be the mental challenge of this… I need to get tougher inside and out.

I’ll be blogging and vlogging my training journey as a journal for myself to look back on my progress.

14 months to go… the countdown starts.

Have a good weekend all. xx




8 thoughts on “The Great Wall Marathon plans 2018

  1. The 1st time I heard about The Great Wall Marathon was about a year ago and I have been intrigued ever since.

    It will be a once in a lifetime experience for you. So cool you already have some travel/living experience in Hong Kong and China.

    All the best in your training. I am sure these next 14 months will fly by quicker than you expect!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Get busy living, or get busy dying.. | RUN THE COTSWOLDS

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