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I distinctly remember saying never-again...but this is one we can't turn down. The photos say it all.

And so - the countdown begins. Here comes two months of preparation for the Great Wall Marathon. 42km along and around Qin Shi Huang's garden fence... steps and all.

They say it takes an hour or two longer than a normal marathon - having never run anything beyond a gentle slope before this is going to be a new experience.

Starting this weekend the gradient training starts. With Shanghai lacking any decent hills we're getting creative - early morning runs up the down escalator in Changle Lu station and fire escape stairwell sprints in Pudong.

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