Hult MBA Candidate Caryll Mullings-McDonald recaps her experience as she joins a group of her classmates to participate in the annual Great Wall Marathon in China.

Last week a small contingent from the Hult Shanghai Running Club set off to Beijing to participate in the Great Wall Half Marathon. The team consisted of intermediate and beginner runners who wanted to challenge themselves and see the Great Wall in a unique way.

It was a huge success, by the end many of the group members had commented that it was the most amazing experience they’ve ever had, there were even some tears at the finish line.

The beauty of the area was humbling – we started the day by watching the sunrise over the mountains signaling the start of what was going to be an amazing experience.  The atmosphere at the starting line was excitement, and full-on camaraderie. Families were present with their children, cheerleaders were there in costume, and of course the serious runners (the eldest of which was 81-years-old). The race began with a 4km incline leading up to the wall followed by an intense 4km-stretch on the wall. It was a feeling of privilege to have the whole wall to ourselves, with vistas scattered around. The race ended through farmlands and small local village with local children coming out to “high-five” us as we ran past, giving us the much needed motivation to keep going.

It was hard, grueling, unforgiving and hazardous at times, yet the one word that will remain in my mind of this experience…Amazing.

Thank you China!

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