Get paid to run a marathon!

Twenty places are up for grabs for the Thunder Mountain Challenge

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 a deal!)   

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.   

Register If you fancy pumping your crazy thighs amid some of the most beautiful scenery in China (all expenses paid), then email 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? 

For more details, visit the Heyrobics website.
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