She’s going the distance
Jenny List preparing for the marathon of a lifetime on the Great Wall
JENNY List will soon begin intensive training to run a marathon of the GreatWall of China.
The Monto resident has been an avid marathon runner since 2010, and the GreatWall Run will be a major step up for her.
“It’s time to give myself a challenge,” List said.
“I’ve only done them at the Gold Coast where it’s fairly flat, but the GreatWall is very hilly, very hot.”
This will be Jenny’s fourth full marathon, the first three being the annual Gold Coast Airport marathons, which she has been doing since 2014.
In taking the GreatWall Marathon, considered one of the five greatest marathons in the world, Jenny will be stepping up to more exclusive competition, and more intensive training.
“You only actually run with 900 people, whereas Gold Coast you’re running with 6000,” she said.
“You’ll find in a lot of running events, most people are out there for themselves, but they also help each other out and coax each other along.”
List typically gets up at 4.30am to run, accompanied by her dog Aston.
Aston is 18 months old and has run up to 22km with List, though she always makes sure to keep a steady pace and run in the cool to keep him from overheating.
“He’ll get fitter, along with me and I want him to come for most of them because I’ll be in the dark,” she said.
List is currently doing maintenance training, running 5-10 kilometre runs in the morning along with strength training twice a week.
On February 13, she will begin her routine of meticulous daily training, averaging 70-80km a week, organised to make the most out of the three months leading up to the run on May 18.
“The training for previous marathons is fairly straightforward, but for this one the only change I need to do is incorporate more hill training and stair climbing,” she said.
“Obviously Monto doesn’t have too many stairs, so I’ve got an aerobic step machine and a routine designed around the 5160 steps that are on the marathon.”
Of course, the steps on the GreatWall aren’t any ordinary steps; they’re a metre high, and the elevation peaks early at 450km, making the first leg of the run more of a climb.
For List, running is intended to not only build up fitness, but will and mental fortitude.
“They’re exhausting workouts, they push your body and your heart-rate, but they also push you mentally,” she said.
“In a marathon, you hit the wall at 32k and you’re body’s just going ‘what on earth are you doing?’ and you have to push through.”
In addition to a fitness milestone, List said it would give her an opportunity to travel.
She’s registered with an online group called Travelling Fit who she’ll be joining on the marathon and staying with in Beijing.
“I’m not really looking for a time; I want to be strong enough and fit enough to finish it without any injuries,” she said.
“But if I can get a time of around 5 hours, I’ll be happy.”
GEARING UP: Jenny List, pictured with her friend and running partner Aston, will soon begin intensive training to run the Great Wall of China.
Jenny finds living out in Queensland a good place to train because of long roads and good temperatures.