Kunming, at around 1900m above sea-level, is high enough to add an extra test, but isn't high enough to increase the likelihood of altitude-related illnesses. The city's weather remains fairly well-behaved all year round, with November and December delivering bouts of sunny weather. Then there's the air quality - for a Chinese city of its size, the air quality is surprisingly good, and is among the best for Chinese urban areas.
If you're interested in training full-time, Kunming's low cost of living makes the city a great option.
So, if you're feeling it, but need a goal to get going, here's some events in the region that might provide the impetus you need:
Xiamen Marathon, 5 January 2008
In 2008, this race is being held rather earlier than in previous years, so this is may be one for any readers already in training. In GoKunming's experience, Xiamen is the best marathon in the country - great crowd turn out, fairly interesting course (including a section on elevated road over the sea) and a host city that offers something a little different. Comprises full marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5km races.
Hong Kong Marathon, 2nd February 2008
Full marathon, half marathon and 10km races, organised well, and with massive turnout, but run over an uninspiring course.
Green Power Hike, 1 March 2008
Trail hike along the 50km Hong Kong Island Trail. Most participants walk, but there's always plenty of runners too.
Ironman China, 20 April 2008
This is the biggie - an 'iron-distance' triathlon (that's consecutive 4km swim, 180km bike and 42km run) held in Haikou, Hainan province. For those with more down-to-earth goals, there's a half-ironman too. There has been trouble with getting this event off the ground for the past two years - fingers crossed they get the go-ahead this time around.
Great Wall Marathon, 17 May 2008
This race in partly run along a section of the Great Wall in Hebei province. The official website is down right now, but might be worth checking up on if you're looking for something 'different'.
Bintan Triathlon, 24 & 25 May 2008
A bit further afield, this triathlon (Olympic and Sprint distances) is held on Bintan Island, a short ferry ride from Singapore.
This is just a selection - please feel free to leave a comment if you find another event that might suit GoKunming readers.© Copyright 2005-2020 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.