Vince Vincent of Kanab completed the Great Wall Marathon near Beijing, China, on May 17, 2014. This marathon is considered to be the fifth hardest marathon in the world. About 2000 runners, many of them world famous elite, gathered in rural China for this 26.2 mile race. The marathon entailed 10,328 steps on the Great Wall, plus mileage through villages and rural roads. 

The Great Wall is believed to be 3889 miles long, without counting the branches and off shoots that are not continuous. Some of the wall was built as early as the 7th century B.C., but it has been repaired, rebuilt and maintained.

Tyler Cornell of the Kane County Travel Council provided “Run-It, Kanab Utah” shirts for Vince and wife Sara to wear in China to promote running in and around Kanab. By wearing the bright running shirts every day, they soon were nicknamed “Utah,” and it was the starting point for many discussions about running and lifestyle in Kanab and southern Utah, with runners from both the USA and other countries showing interest in visiting this beautiful location.

To participate in this race is a goal, but to complete it is a major achievement. The pain goes, but the memories last forever. That is why it is possible to smile in some of this race’s hardest parts – on China’s Great Wall!