Last weekend We haul 2 play and friends took part in the great wall marathon and half marathon in Beijing. The weekend was filled with excitement, laughter, pain, dehydration and achievement. Members of our crew had spent countless hours in the hills of Hangzhou, stair wells of apartment buildings, and watching Stallone movies to prepare for the challenge of the wall.
Any goal presents many obstacles to achieve the final outcome. We search for inspiration and strength to keep us moving forward. This race I had the privilege to honor my good friend Joah Atkinson who left this world too soon due to a car accident that took her life. She was a leader, a competitor, and a person who cared deeply for her friends and family. She was a true friend and she was definitely with me throughout this race....I felt great for the first 40km, but the last two km I could feel my body starting to shut down. When I crossed the finish line I collapsed and I woke up on a stretcher without a recollection if I crossed the line. I drank 4 liters of water during the race, but I had very low sodium levels which caused immediate dehydration.....I believe I had some support from up above to keep me going through the last two km. When I woke up I was blessed to see Lulu's smile and the hairy chest of Shane Wilson. At the time, I thought I was getting attacked by a bear, but after an hour, I was back to my senses and I was told I finished the race. Thank you Joah for providing me with strength and inspiration. The gifts you have left behind have never been forgotten and have changed my life. Life runs on forever young....
Shane "V neck" Wilson proved that his "Qingdao and m&m diet" and weekly "pub crawl" participation, was the recipe for success. He shocked his critics and finished the half marathon with a time of 2:23:57! He also received a few phone numbers from the ladies in the "65 to 69" category.
Chris "Jawsy" Joslin wasn't feeling fresh before the event....Call me crazy but two liters of sake two days before the race could cause some problems. As well, he believed tapering two months prior to the race would give him the necessary rest to take on the challenge of the half marathon. His unusual training regiment paid off and he finished the race with a time of 2:58:44. That's the big dog baby!
Illona "Sabre" Kende a former member of the t.v show American gladiators proved that training inside an altrasphere (huge metal ball) would provide the strength and stamina to complete the grueling sections of the race. The "eliminator" rocked the competition and finished 13th of 107 in her age category with a time of 2:41:25. She fell in love with race and this natural athlete has the heart of a lion to compete for years to come. Way to go Illona!
Lulu McCallum never stopped smiling throughout the weekend and the race. I remember last year when she couldn't run one kilometer without stopping, and now she can proudly say that she rocked the great wall half marathon. Lulu has proven time and time again through her hard work, determination and positive outlook, that she has the strength to accomplish anything she desires. Keep on being amazing!
Neil Rushton former street baller turned marathon runner showed his mental toughness throughout the marathon. His ability to cross over through traffic was key to get ahead at the beginning stages of the race. Neil sustained a knee injury
during training, but this misfortune was never an issue because of his grit and determination. Congratulations Neil on an impressive performance and completing your very first marathon!
When you look up in the dictionary the definition of running you will see the photo of Lee "Night wolf" Smith. I have never met someone who is more passionate and driven towards running than Lee. He has ran thousands of kilometers and has completed many ultra-marathons. Night wolf's training program involved getting up at 4 o'clock in the morning to complete his runs. He will never stop competing and will continue to battle until he achieves the result he desires. Thank you Lee for all your wisdom and insight. We all look up to you, keep on battling!