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Filipino runner finishes race at the Great Wall of China

Another Filipino runner has achieved a remarkable feat by conquering the challenging route along the Great Wall of China.

The Conquer the Wall Marathon is the longest-standing annual international marathon hosted on this iconic structure. This locally organized event presents different distances, from the full marathon spanning 42.2 kilometers to the half marathon at 21.1 kilometers, and shorter runs including the 10K and 5K categories.

Glen Reniel Tabilona, a 28-year-old Filipino from Rizal who ran in the 10K race, shared his journey with The Filipino Times.

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Glen Reniel Tabilona

The race started early in the morning under good weather, putting Tabilona in a good mood despite the obstacle he was about to take. “The 10k race started in Jinshanling at 6:30 am in 14-15° chilling weather, adding a nice twist to the already challenging steps of the Great Wall,” he said.

However, despite being a 10K race, the course was not as easy as it sounds. “We were warned to train for this as it is not one of our ordinary runs,” Tabilona shared.

Tabilona’s remark hinted on the demanding conditions and unique obstacles that awaited the runners along the course. He shared that he was running on uneven steps up to 40cm high and an elevation of 200 meters above ground.

Despite this, Tabilona was able to go on. “What kept me going was the thought of making it this far,” he said.

Even when things got tough, he kept pushing forward.

“The sunrise view, surrounded by well-preserved nature, and being at one of the 7 wonders of the world, still gives me chills when I reminisce about that remarkable moment,” he shared.

Since all the runners were foreigners, Tabilona knew exactly who he was competing against. This allowed him to fully immerse himself in the experience, savoring every moment at his own pace until he crossed the finish line. The warm welcome from a few Chinese tourists and race marshals added an extra layer of specialness to his journey.

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“As I reached the finish line, I can vividly remember how my co-runners rallied to cheer me on as I carried the Philippine flag during the last stride.”

He appreciated the running community and called them the “best support system in the world” and mentioned that he was even able to make friends with few runners and travelers alike.

Tabilona has been a runner for 10K and half-marathons. To inspire his fellow Filipino runners, he said: “To all my fellow Filipino runners, we don’t limit ourselves by the distance we struggle to overcome and the competition we aim to surpass, but rather by the unyielding spirit and determination that drives us forward with every step. It’s the journey that matters.”

Tabilona shared that he is set to participate in a half marathon in Halong Bay, Vietnam, in November

Kate Sudiacal

Kate is a Junior Writer at The Filipino Times, where she actively covers a wide range of stories, with a special focus on the Philippines, UAE, and MENA. Her thorough daily summaries of the most significant events appear in The Filipino Times, the Middle East's leading newspaper serving Filipinos. With The Filipino Times' digital platform boasting over 4 million monthly views and nearly half a million followers across various social media channels, Kate's work reaches a wide and engaged audience. Do you have a story to share? Contact Kate at [email protected].

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