run for your life: the great wall marathon

The Pink Pilates founder and programme director, Lou James's latest venture took her to China to run one of the worlds most challenging marathons. Her goal was to help raise money for the Pink Pilates Trust and to promote the benefits of exercise for women diagnosed with cancer. She took two courageous breast cancer survivors with her to do the Great Wall Half Marathon (Jodie and Judith. Both women had been through the Pink Pilates programme. Together they conquered the Great Wall and raised over $20,000 to help women through the Pink Pilates programme.

Lou describes the Great Wall Marathon, "as tough, beautiful and extraordinary experience in the mountains of Tianjin Province, China. Running/walking and crawling over the 5000 odd steps on the Great Wall was definitely a challenge. In addition to crossing the Great Wall, the course passed through charming rural villages, where the locals turned out en masse and waved and cheered. After running in 30 degree heat for 5 hours 9 mins the finish line was a magnificent sight!"

"This whole exercise has been such a wonderful experience on so many levels. I look at Judith one year out from chemotherapy and hope other women with breast cancer draw inspiration from her and remain positive despite how hard their journey may be. And Jodie, who has never been a runner in the past, said she feels stronger physically and mentally than she ever has. She is already planning her next event.

To those who have been touched in some way by breast cancer, I hope you will feel encouraged by the fact that whilst you or your loved one don't need to conquer the Wall or any marathon for that matter, there is life after a diagnosis. It is so important to get out there and live it for each day! " Lou James Pink Pilates Founder and Programme Director

The Pink Pilates Trust will continue to run events in the future and help women achieve their own physical aspirations -register here to walk or run for Team Run-for-your-life.

Read Lou, Jodie and Judith's profiles and their final thoughts on the Great Wall Marathon.

New Idea - Great Wall Marathon - June 2010 129KB

Lou James Talking with Pippa Wetzell on TVNZ's Breakfast - June 8th 2010