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Kailua-Kona’s Jason Lester completes Great Wall of China run in 83 days

Updated: 
November 1, 2014 - 8:54am

Kailua-Kona resident Jason Lester set a world record by becoming the first person to run The Great Wall of China — from Jiayuguan first dun to Shanhaiguan Old Dragon Head — solo in a single attempt.

Lester started the journey Aug. 8 and finished in 83 days and nearly 2,500 miles later. He averaged more than a marathon per day while on the trek.

The Great Wall is roughly 5,500 miles long, but Lester said only about 2,500 miles are runnable

“The Great Wall of China is the most monumental structure built by mankind,” said Lester. “My desire and ambition was, and still is, to honor and pay respect to China, it’s culture and those whom built the wall over 2000 years ago. My wish and hope is that this run has inspired many around the world and that they too would have an interest and appreciation for The Great Wall. This run was a team effort and I’m grateful and humbled by all that made this dream come true. To my team that assisted in making history — you are heroes.”

When asked what was the most surprising and unexpected moment of his journey, Lester responded with; “I’ve learned in 83 days that this world functions off love and inspiration. I ran through hundreds of villages where the local people had never seen a foreigner before. At first they ran from me scared, but as I reached out to shake their hand with a smile, they wanted to learn more about me and why I was on their turf. Within minutes they would start to smile and then invite me into their homes for tea and food.”

“I touched thousands of babies and our youth along this journey as I feel our youth are our future and hope. I spent many hours a day making sure I left a footprint so that those kids got to see that no matter what our circumstances, we all have the ability to dream big and live those dreams.

“This wasn’t about being the first or any world record — this was about using my athletic gifts as a platform to inspire others that this amazing journey we call life can be monumental. Running isn’t my purpose, it’s my platform. I would run around the world in a blink of an eye if I knew it would allow others to be better in a better world and I’ve surrender to doing just that. It’s my calling and I’m humbled and blessed to be called to such a role. I want to thank each and every one of my partners for believing in my mission to inspire 1.4 billion people in China. To all my friends, family and supporters — with a humbled heart and inspired spirit — thank you for answering the call to support.”

Lester runs with a paralyzed right arm. He is an ESPY award winner and the founder of the EP1C Inc. brand. He is also the founder and chairman of The NEVER STOP Foundation, and has biked 5,000 miles in 100 days across the United States as the face of the Nike Better World brand and campaign. Lester also recently ran 3,550 miles in 72 days across the USA to raise funds and awareness for Hurricane Sandy and has a passion for using his athletic gifts to inspire others to “Never Stop.”

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