What’s that? Heyrobics are now so gung-ho
about fitness that they’re now paying people to run? Well, not quite, but it’s
not far short of the mark. While we’re quite certain that, if pink
shorts-wearing Heyrobics guru Linus Holmsater had the money to pay/make
Beijingers do squat thrusts every hour, on the hour, he would do so (for our
own good, of course). But, until such a day arrives, news that the organisers
of Guizhou’s Thunder Mountain Challenge are sponsoring foreigners from Beijing
to run any or all three of their 42km (Nov 9), 35km (Nov 10) and 21km (Nov 11) races
is surely the next best thing.
This 100km Ultra is divided into three
stages, but the good news is that non-masochists can sign up for just one or
two of those days if they don’t feel up to the whole thing and still get the
deal. Those that register through Heyrobics will not only have their hotel,
transportation and race fee covered by the organisers, but will also receive
1,500RMB (note: Heyrobics members get 2,000RMB) for the cost of their flights
to and from Guizhou. (Ed. Now, if only they’d run the race for us, then it’d be
Only 300 runners take part, but around a
million are expected to turn out to watch what is surely one of the more
picturesque marathons in the world. ‘Last year, we had 15 runners from
Heyrobics/HeyRunning all completing over the three days, many of which had
never done any runs longer than 21km before!’ encourages Linus. The
only bad news is that there are only 20 places up for grabs and it’s a case of
first come, first served.
As to the race itself, we’re
told it’s not one of the toughest (North Face Challenge, please stand up): ‘The
route has some ups and downs but is run on paved roads, so it's not an extreme
race of any sort,’ says Linus. We must add, however, that this is one of oddest
things we can recall – and we remember the ’80s! But this is China and the
organisers simply want foreigners to come and run, we’re told. Having said
that, we were also informed that Chinese nationals from Beijing who want to sign up, can do so and will
get their race fee, transportation and possibly their hotel costs refunded,
albeit minus the additional sum for flights.
If you fancy pumping your
crazy thighs amid some of the most beautiful scenery in China (all expenses
paid), then email firstname.lastname@example.org
to sign up. This offer is available until October 25.
Or, if you’re too late
and don’t manage to book a place, we’re also giving away two packages
. Come on, what are you waiting for?