Since the first race in 1999, the Great Wall Marathon has now grown into one of the most popular marathons in the running world. Organized by Albatros Adventure Marathons, over 2,500 runners from more than 50 countries show up in Beijing each year to run the race of their lives on the world-famous Great Wall of China, whose tough terrain is not for the faint of heart. There is no other monument more iconic than the Great Wall of China, which is why this is a race that is completely unlike any other.
The route takes runners through spellbinding scenery of Huangyaguan, through the lower valley, into the nearby village as spectators cheer you on with energy that is almost tangible! There will be notoriously arduous steps especially on the famous ascent and descent of the Goat Track. Runners always look forward to racing past the river and charming countryside villages, where locals cheer you on with high-fives. The race ends at the Yin and Yang Square.
There are three distances in the event: a marathon, half marathon, and an 8.5 kilometer fun run. But be prepared: it will be painful, brutal, difficult; but it will also be awe-inspiring, motivational, and rewarding. However, the event organizers have thought of everything so that runners can zone out and completely focus on the race without worry. Temporary luggage storage will be found near the starting area, and an international team of medical professionals will be available before, during, and after the marathon. Doctors and nurses will be patrolling the route, and may also be approached at the Yin and Yang Square. There will also be water stations offering isotonic drinks and bananas for the runners.
‘Are you ready to run one of the greatest marathons of your life?’
Runners and spectators alike will be furnished with a race pack upon arrival to their Beijing hotel. Runners will receive a race number and baggage tag and 8 safety pins, while both runners and spectators get an official Great Wall Marathon t-shirt and entry ticket that includes entry to the start and finish area as well as meals and a massage, depending on the package booked.
So, are you ready for this epic, bucket list challenge?
Spectators can cheer their family and friends on at the start area and the finish line, which will be at the Yin and Yang Square. Alternatively, spectators can also view the event from Huangyaguan village. The Great Wall itself will be closed to everyone except the runners on race day.
The even organizers have arranged for buses to shuttle spectators and runners to and from various hotels in Beijing on race day. However, buses will only depart when they are full.
The Beijing subway system is extremely modern and efficient, not to mention a cheap and practical way of getting around. If you want to avoid standing in line for tickets every time you use the subway, getting a travel card is recommended.
Bicycles are a fun way of getting around, and it’s safe too because almost every road in Beijing has a bike lane. Other forms of transport include taxis, buses, and motor rickshaws.
Depending on which package you sign up for, you may be able to get hotel accommodations included in your itinerary. Otherwise, there are hundreds of hotels around Beijing that can cater to your needs. Better yet, check out the Rad Season map below for all Airbnb’s and hotels in the area.
Beijing is an ancient city steeped in history dating back three millennia. The city combines both old and new, innovation and tradition, and Western influences on Chinese culture. The Chinese capital of over 21 million residents will thrill you with its religious, culinary, historical, and natural attractions for young and old alike; not to mention a lively nightlife scene, you’ll never run out of things to do in Beijing.
The Marathon will be held on May 18, 2019.
Rad Season is providing you with hotels and Airbnbs at the lowest prices available online. Book your stay for Great Wall Marathon 2019 using the map below!
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