After a crazy, crazy week of furiously working with a "local" travel agent who understood a little English, it has finally been confirmed that Cindy is officially registered to run the Great Wall 10K and I am officially registered to run the Great Wall Marathon!
Our "Official Entry" forms!
Poor Cindy -- because of the time difference and the urgency of getting the registrations completed by the end of the day on March 17 (Hong Kong time), she was up all hours of the night filling out paperwork. Because our travel agent couldn't understand what we were trying to explain (that I am living in Hong Kong for three months, Cindy lives in California, and we wanted to register together to ensure we had the same hotel room), Cindy wound up filling out, scanning and emailing THREE registration forms -- all with different addresses! At practically the last minute before the registration deadline, we were told the registration forms were completed correctly and our credit cards were then promptly charged.
Let me tell you now that this is going to be the most expensive run I will probably ever do in my life, however, how many people get the opportunity to run the Great Wall (I'll actually be running it twice on the marathon course). And the best part is that I will be experiencing it with one of my best friends (I have to say "one of" because there are quite a few peeps in the world that claim Cindy IS their best friend and I don't want to piss them off).
Oh, this is going to be a piece of cake!
My plan from this point on is to climb as many steps as I can. I began my training this week in the gym (run, stair-climb, run, weights) and will gradually increase the time and distance in the coming weeks. I also discovered an awesome running trail nearby which has lots of steps and inclines, so I'll be out there on the weekends.
I don't have a time goal for this marathon, but I am estimating it to take close to 7 hours (after reading about the level of difficulty and average run times). If I can pull off a 6.5 hour run, I will be thrilled. If not, and I can finish within the 8-hour timeframe for getting the medal, I will be satisfied. I am also planning on running with my camera and taking lots of pics along the way.
To quote Cindy: "OMG, I can't wait!"