Race director laces up her running shoes for iconic Great Wall of China Marathon

Race director laces up her running shoes for iconic Great Wall of China Marathon

“There is no greater feeling than accomplishing your personal goal and achieving your personal best,” says Kate Wood.

“I believe in balance. Everything in moderation. Start slow and listen to your body. You can achieve anything with dedication and perseverance.”

This healthy, encouraging advice comes from Kate Wood, a fervent runner and the hard-working race director of the Birchwood Half-Marathon.

Kate, who has lived in Bedfordview for the past four years but describes herself as a home-grown Boksburg girl, definitely has some valuable guidance to offer when it comes to jogging, especially since she will be competing in the Great Wall of China Marathon in May 2019.

Known as one of the most arduous but beautiful and iconic marathons, there will only be 2 500 runners participating, and Kate is proud to be one of them.

“I love running and it has become a big part of my life for many years. I started running socially in 2000 and, as they say, the bug certainly bit me.”

When talking about the Great Wall of China Marathon, Kate credits her mom for encouraging her to put on her running shoes and go for it.

“My mom is a running enthusiast and her aim was to get my brothers to start running. She challenged both of them to compete in a marathon, and they decided to do the Adelaide Marathon as my oldest brother lives in Australia. I was due with my son, so unfortunately I couldn’t join them. I was challenged by my mom to compete in a marathon of my choice and I decided on the Great Wall of China Marathon purely due to the uniqueness of the race.”

Once she has finished the race, Kate will use the opportunity to take a holiday abroad and see some of the amazing sites.

“But I can’t be away too long,” she laughs. “I’m not sure how my husband will cope with three children.”

Although Kate hasn’t taken part in the Comrades Marathon yet, crossing the finish line of this ultramarathon is on her race to-do list.

“This is my future goal, once my children are older. [The] Comrades requires an enormous amount of training and dedication.”

When it comes to training, Kate says she prefers to go running in the morning as opposed to the evening.

“It’s a great start to the day and [it] puts you in a good mood. I seem to achieve more after doing a run in the morning.”

And when she is out on the road, what is on her mind?

“Everything,” she laughs. “It’s my only time alone!”

As a working mother of three, Kate says she also spends time running with (as opposed to after) her children.

“Both my children love running! We always participate in the kiddies’ dashes or tiny tots events that are hosted throughout the year.”

“I love the camaraderie that running brings out in everyone. On the road everyone is equal, and there is most certainly mutual respect. There is no greater feeling than accomplishing your personal goal and achieving your personal best. Being active and participating in outdoor events has become a large part of our family life.”

About the Birchwood Half-Marathon

The Birchwood Half-Marathon started in 2011 and takes place in April every year.

According to Kate, there are three races on the day, to cater for varying fitness levels – 5km, 10km and 21.1km.

The Birchwood Half-Marathon will take place on Sunday, April 22. For more information, visit


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