Our second annual hiking festival was super fun!
The 2015 festival featured two pre-marked trails: a fun 10km hike that covered hills, valleys, and unrestored Great Wall; and a 24km monster that crossed a tall line of mountains, peaking at the High Tower.
As with the 2014 hiking festival, we were very busy in the week leading up to the big day, making several trips out into the hills to clear the trails and set up the trail markers.
In the week before the festival the weather forecasts mentioned the chance of rain, and it also got quite smoggy in the city. Oh no!
On the day itself the weather was nearly perfect – a wee bit of smog, but lovely cool temperatures and sunny weather.
The event attracted a larger group of participants than in 2014, with almost 100 people turning up in time for the buses out to the start of the hike. And it wasn't just hikers this year: the top finishers ran the whole way, with number one completing the 24km course in 2 hours and 16 minutes – super quick!
Thanks again to our sponsors and partners for the event.
See all the photos below!
The 24km Challenge is ready to go, starting off in a small village way out in the countryside.
And they're off!
A little later, on the other side of the mountains, the 10km Hike for Fun gets going.
The fast ones are crossing over near the High Tower, already past halfway.
The trail went by the High Tower. (A lot of history here: the holes in the walls of the tower are from a battle in the late 1930s.)
Third past the High Tower.
Super-hiker Jacqueline passes the High Tower.
Super-hiker Anastasia passes the High Tower.
Back on the Hike for Fun, we're getting further into the hills.
Coming up the path that leads to the Great Wall.
Here comes the Scout Real Estate team.
The youngest participants.
Back on the 24km Challenge, more hikers are passing the High Tower.
Quick march, double-time!
Over on the other side of the hills, the fast ones are already coming down the Hike for Fun trail.
And he's gone!
The Hike for Fun trail went up through a leafy forest full of autumn colours.
Heading up the trail.
Another of the fast ones heading down.
Back at the other end of the 24km Challenge, we're hiking towards the High Tower on the ridge in the background.
Scott is making it look easy.
Super-hiker Ulf has crossed the Great Wall. Some of the Hike for Fun hikers are heading the other way, following the Great Wall to the end of their hike.
The Hike for Fun trail followed a line of unrestored Great Wall.
At the front of the Hike for Fun group.
Hikes take a detour around a dangerous part of the wall.
Heading along the detour.
A view from the Hike for Fun trail.
Looking back along the trail.
More of the Hike for Fun team are coming up to the detour.
Gaspard and Alexandre looking fresh.
The young ones are heading down along the Great Wall.
Views of hikers on the Great Wall as they approach a tower.
Coming up to the tower.
Two more from the Scout Real Estate crew.
Here come more of the Hike for Fun team.
Here was one of the tricky sections on the trail, steep and slippery.
The Hike for Fun followed this ruined line of Great Wall to a pass.
Continuing to the end of the Hike for Fun
This year with extra sponsorship we had more prizes to give away! Top 3 finishers on each trail received prizes and a medal, and we had plenty of lucky draw prizes to give away, too.
Top 3 finishers all got a medal.
The fastest finisher of the Women's 24km Challenge.
Second place in the 24km Challenge with medal and prizes.
First place in the Men's 24km Challenge.
Top finisher in Women's Hike for Fun.
Third place in the Hike for Fun.
First place finisher in the Men's Hike for Fun.
Lucky draw and post-hike party
Thanks to tiny Shixia Village for hosting us!
The post hike picnic is underway.
Beer and snacks in the village square.
The BMW team celebrating.
Lucky draw prize winner.
More of the lucky draw.
Helping with the lucky draw.
Lucky draw winner.
Post-hike party scenes.
Two of the 24km finishers.
The BMW team in their hike festival t-shirts.
The party is almost finished, time to head back to Beijing.