On May 18th, 8 women from Prysmian Group raced in one the most challenging marathon in the world - The big five Great wall Marathon. 5 racers from China with the youngest only 25, the oldest 47 and 3 racers from US, Germany and Russia take this great challenging and come to Beijing to run half-marathon.
What’s more exciting is that this is the first half-marathon experience for 4 of them, their courage and confidence are truly admirable. Starting from the day we announced this event in Jan, through preliminary selection to weekly training, our ladies consistently demonstrate their great will and ambitions in winning marathon in last few months. They are more than ready to go for the run when the day comes. But for female runners out of China, not only they have to overcome the long-distance travel and tiredness, but they also have to deal with the jet lag. Allie took the full-marathon which wasn’t initially planned, but being at the race and seeing inspiring people around, she took her leap of faith and decided to challenge herself to a level up. Despite being running in marathons before, with all other difficulties included, this great wall marathon has been the toughest one for her. She did it in 6 hours 40 minutes. Standing on the finishing line, she can proudly tell the world that she has conquered the wall!
One slogan of the big 5 marathon is “life changing experience”, this is truly reflected in one of the young 26 year’s runner - Kathy Li, she was so excited after she did the race and she looked like a changed person, the earlier shy and reserved Kathy become so confident that I can see the glowing lights in her eyes. “I am so glad that I take this opportunity, I feel so great that I finished the run, that sense of achievement is beyond your imagination, I feel so empowered and full of energy to do anything I want and not feel afraid to achieve them.” Exactly this is the spirit of the Side by Side, to make you realize that you have all the power in your hand to change yourself and influence the world. Pushing your limit and grow to be a better self. Prysmian Side by Side project is honored and appreciated by our runners so much that they can’t thank enough company for offering them this opportunity to have a life changing experience.
At the gala dinner next day of the run, with the applauds of those moments, some of them mentioned there were some moments made them want to cry. It is a hard race, but it is at the same such a soul searching process, “I am very touched when we are standing at the starting line and ready to go, my eyes got moist and there is this voice in my head telling me: you are accomplishing something with a group of likeminded people who constantly seek a breakthrough in their life, this is a mission and you are part of it, I can feel the energy and the power around the people and I am so proud of myself being part of it”. This is referred by one of our young graduate Tiange who runs marathon for the first time in her life.
However, this is not the end of the race, the girls are now inspired and taking on a journey of constant conquering their next goal, "Side By Side", let’s do our next marathon together somewhere else” this is a common voice from everyone from this run.
I am very much looking forward to this event. While running a marathon is something I have done before, running a marathon in China is something I could never have dreamed of happening for me! Running is my favorite escape and though some runs are harder than others, I always think of this quote. “There will be days when I know I can’t run a marathon, but I will spend a lifetime knowing that I did”, said Allie.
"I know that it will be a very difficult race and, certainly, I have any doubts if there be enough strength? But there are many people around me, who believes what I can, so I will try to justify their hopes", said Svetlana.
People say I am completely crazy and out of my mind. I say: “One big challenge a year!” Last year I walked 265km in 10 days on the „Camino Portugues“. This year I will tackle a marathon with over 5164 steps passing the Chinese Wall. Fear and excitement are closely related emotions in the current preparation phase, said Theresa Paul.
"This is my first to run half marathon ,running makes me relaxed, I guess I will love running! Looking forward to complete marathon together with you", said Kathy Li.
I am so excited we will meet and conquer the wall together soon. it is an very interesting tour for me to run from 5km, 7.5km, 10km until to half marathon that I never thought before. Although it is very tough every time, but I enjoy the process of breaking through myself, said Alina Li.
"Thank you all for inspiring me from your big smile in the pictures! And I feel excited to meet you guys, run with you guys in one month!! Running is an attitude in my life, keep running, keep positive!", said Tiange.
"It’s so excited to run together in the Beijing Marathon! The year before last Summer, I joined a group of Run and started my running journey. From last year, I followed my friends and tried to run half marathon. I think running is to be truly happy self and meet a better self! Running is not only physical exercise, is more of inner spiritual practice! Come on together!", said Jasmine Yang.
"It is so happy we will run together. Please find my picture and text: Last year I followed my friend to attend a half marathon. It was full of excitement and difficulty. Then I like running. I don’t know why I started running, but I know why I won’t stop. It's a conversation between body and will", said Tina Yuan.