1,500 runners take part in Beijing’s historic Great Wall Marathon
More than 1,500 runners from 67 nations and regions took part in the 20th edition of the Great Wall Marathon on Saturday. The anniversary competition took place at Huangyaguan or Yellow Cliff Pass in English, which is one of the ancient landmark's most challenging sections.
This year's event saw 697 runners pursuing the full marathon and 635 entering the half marathon while 233 opting for the 8.5-kilometer fun run. Huangyaguan is renowned for the intimidating 5,164 steps required to reach its highest point, and getting to the top left some of the participants literally crawling as they battled through exhaustion in an effort to make it to the end of the 42-kilometer course.
Australia's Douglas Wilson won the men's full marathon in three hours 25 minutes 25 seconds, while Kali Cavey, from the U.S., ranked first place on the women's side in four hours 12 minutes 27 seconds.
After winning the coveted title, Cavey said, "I had to crawl on my hands and my knees. I thought I was going to throw up. Then I saw the girl who got second – I saw her behind me – and then I thought I'd better pick up my pace, so she doesn't catch me."
Meanwhile, Marcin Gabrys, who did manage to finish the grueling race, mentioned, "It was fantastic, excruciating. It was very fun. The last eight kilometers were difficult. Climbing the second time the Wall, it was a challenge, but wonderful people. It's amazing."