Passion & Dedication

Blog

Tunnel vision

The drought has been raging on in the area that we are traveling through at the moment. As well as this it’s the winter season and no rain. The shrubs, trees, dead grass and fallen leaves are bone dry. As you trundle along the paths up to the wall the dead vegetation underfoot sound like you are walking on old chip packets; it’s just crunch, crunch with every step and plumes of dust swirl around your foot as it hits the soil. Its fire season, on...

Last claws of winter

The crew had told us that there was a cold spell on the way, but one never really takes notice; we were running in beautiful 29-degree spring weather, the cherry blossoms were slowly starting to open, bringing splashes of colour to the dry sandy landscape. Along the mountainside it looked as if someone had sprayed patches of pink and white randomly along the wall and mountain slopes. An absolutely beautiful sight to behold… a definite message from Mother Nature that spring is on its way. We were...

Driving local

Andy and I have run many a country and seen crazy driving, inventive driving, sheer madness and the unbelievable. Over the past few days we have had to run the odd bit of road, cut a mega freeway or run a town to pick up the wall on the other side. It’s been quite an experience. The hooter is also a common tool used in many a country, but that hoot has different meanings. Thailand it was a greeting and sometimes a warning, Cuba a plain simple hi...

What a Day One

The sun was lazily creeping over the western horizon, a typical cold windy Shanhaiguan morning. Emotions running high, we bid farewell to the ocean and headed out into the cold morning air full of excitement and in a way incredibly nervous for the journey ahead. We ran about 14 to 18 km and then, there it was; the Great Wall. It looked as if it owned the horizon as it extended into the mountain, zig-zagging its way through the valleys and across the peaks. From a distance it...

The send off

On our morning run, we had seen the setup taking shape yesterday, but when we arrived this morning, it was obvious that they must have worked through the night. It was a fantastic atmosphere that had been created for the launch. A massive section of the Great wall had been replicated and the whole event was to take place along this wall, with the Olympic precinct in the background. Last night we had been given warnings that there might be a massive Beijing sandstorm blowing in from the...

The first crew meeting.

It was an hour by taxi to William and Qi, we were invited for an early dinner plus a crew meeting and briefing of what lies ahead.   We arrived at Williams home to a great welcome, a meeting of old friends. A chitter chatter and a beer. Then the doorbell rang, and I could hear voices down the passage and then I heard the unmistakable voice of Lung-ah, the team leader from the last run. He was once again taking on the role of heading up...

Stretching the legs

Flying West to East is known as the beast, the jetlag really hits you.   After not such a great night, being awake from 12 ‘till about three, I finally crashed out into a deep sleep, totally exhausted.  At nine I was suddenly awoken from this rem sleep by a knocking on the door. I shot upright in an absolute daze. Where the hell was I, what’s going on? Totally disorientated I fell out of bed, looked around in an absolute daze. Then it hit me as...

Setting-up for the “Send- off.”

It was 10 in the morning and Andy and I had arranged with Harry de Witt, the CEO of Fresenius Asia Pacific region, to go for a 10 km run. We set out towards the Olympic park where we have been running every day. As we got outside the hotel, we were shocked, we could hardly see ahead of us, the temperature had dropped a little and the pollution seemed to just be hanging in the air. It was horrific, with less than 200 metres visibility...

Realty hits home.

Slowly the pieces are falling into place as D-Day draws closer. Yesterday the Fresenius China media team checked into the hotel and we had a dinner scheduled for the evening, a final de-brief before the event. So far from our side, it’s just been getting over the jetlag, running 10 to 15 km every day around the Olympic park and getting all the little bits sorted. Now suddenly the gears are changing. Helen and Sophie who have been heading up the “Back to the Wall” event arranged the...

Getting connected

It was another one-hour taxi ride to the side of Beijing where William lives. There was a China mobile shop that Qi knew. She decided that it was best to get everything there as she was familiar with the shop. What a mission it turned out to be. With a passport, copy of your visa, a picture and signature the deed is done! You now own a SIM, but will your device take it and connect, this is another story. We each got cards with a three-month data supply...