Tuesday, May 27, 2008

conquering the great wall

The Finish Line.

I just returned from one of the most amazing journey's of my life! Camille, Christine, and I traveled to China and Thailand for two weeks to run The Great Wall of China Marathon. We trained all of spring, but I don't think anything could prepare us well enough for this race. We arrived and read the itinerary for the race. It's starts with a 4.5km uphill climb, then you hit about 1.7km of The Great Wall which is up and down steep stairs, and then you have 13km to run through an old Chinese villiage. Definatly proved a humbling experience for me, but alas I finished and at that point, finishing was all I was worried about. There were so many great parts to the race, especially running through the villiage where small children were cheering us on, giving us high fives and flowers. For my first race, this was a great experience and I am only happy that the races in the future will probably all be easier than this one. I have already signed up for another marathon in Connecticut next month and two in South Africa next year. The feeling of finishing is addicting. By The Great Wall Gates, still happy I finished the dang thing!

The Great Wall is SO Amazing!

One of the greatest parts about the race was meeting runners from all over the world. We had the opportunity to really get to know them. Some had run over 70 Marathons. I'm so inspired by the people I met, they are just amazing.
Part of Our Tour Group

At the Celebration Dinner

Chinese Dragons to Congradulate Us

This area of the world is beautiful. Another favorite part was meeting people from all over the world. This race is unique because runners are put together in tour groups and you basically spend the whole week together. I loved that. Was way awesomne. Beijing was an interesting city. You can tell from my pics that the air is think and it makes it difficult to see. That wasn't way awesome. Christine and I at the Forbidden Palace

Also, take notice of the interesting cuisine we ate: scorpions, coconuts, Peking Duck, a traditional meal at a Chinese Families house. I have to say it's not quite like going to Italy where all the food is more than delicious, but I don't think you can get to know a culture, without trying the food...so we did.

Drinking Coconut Milk, Mmmm.

Yep, That's a Scorpion.

At Our Peking Duck Lunch.

I must also add that it was great to do this with Camille. We've traveled so many places together and this journey was probably the most challenging. While I only did the half marathon, she completed the full, and I am pretty darn proud of her! It's so nice to have a friend who will travel literally anywhere in the world with me and who pushes me to do better and strive for more!

For anyone thinking about this race I would highly encourage it. What an amazing experience!


e said...

Yea! I've been anxiously awaiting your return so I could hear all about it! I'm so proud of you and excited for you! Isn't that an amazing place? It's gorgeous! Oh. I can't wait to hear all about Thailand! Love you!

Morrena Harris said...

Holly, I want to go and see China in a buggy though-what do you think? You look so happy and we are so proud that you finished too. Love MOM and DAD

Melanie said...

That looks like a lot of fun. Congrats on finishing the half marathon. Better you than me. You should post some more pictures of your trip, especially of Thailand and stuff.

Will and Wendy Richards said...

Hols... Way to go. We couldn't be more proud of you. What an adventure!!!!! And yes we'd love to do it some day. We're glad you had the time of your life.

Steven said...

Holls that is so cool that you went to china. I am very proud of you for running the half marathon. I also want you to know that I now have a full goatee mustache and all it is awesome.
Love your baby bro.

Jenn said...

Holls - wow, AMAZING! You rock! Yay for challenging yourself and meeting your goals. And in another, beautiful country, no less :-). Next time - I want to do it with you! Seriously! Glad you liked China - it is an interesting culture. We should talk soon! Love, Jenn

Tom & Martie said...

Holly Dolly,
Thanks for sharing your experiences in Thailand and China.
I love your zest for life and spirit of adventure! It reminds me of Grandpa Harris. That picture of him is great! It made me cry! You are living his adage, "Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much!" I admire and love you and look forward to seeing you in September!
Love, Aunt Martie

Arlene said...

Well said.