Race Info

Information relating to the marathon event can be found on this page. If you can't find what you're looking for, have a look at the practical information section in the itinerary or get in touch with us!


Full marathon runners must be minimum 18 years old on race day. Half marathon runners must be at least 16 years old. Fun Run participants must be at least 12 years old on race day. Fun Run participants under the age of 12 are also welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult.


All finishers receive a medal. A small, symbolic prize is given to the top three finishers of the full and half marathon distances for men and women. Please note that there is no prize money.


The weather in May is hot and humid with temperatures reaching highs of around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Light-coloured clothing, short-sleeve technical shirts are a good choice as sweat is not absorbed (like cotton), sun block is a must (use SPF30 or above), a running hat with visor is also advisable as it can help keep the sun out of your eyes.

Course Map

For information on the route, start and finish lines, drinks stations and other course-related information, look at the course map.


The Great Wall Marathon takes place on the third Saturday in May every year. The next Great Wall Marathon will take place on 16 May 2015. The 2016 edition of The Great Wall Marathon will take place on 15 May.


The Great Wall Marathon features three distances: a full marathon - 42.195km/26.2mi, a half marathon - 21.1km/13.1mi and a 8.5km/5.5mi Fun Run - a non-competitive run on the wall. Please note that the 5K and 10K distances were discontinued in 2013. 


There will be water stations at approximately every 4 kilometres along the route. Some stations will also serve energy drinks and bananas. All stations provide bottled water. Marathon runners will be offered energy gel after 26km and 35km.


The finish line for all distances is located at the centre of the Yin and Yang Square. All runners will receive a medal after crossing the finish line. Results will be posted at Yin and Yang Square during the race. Final results will be published here. Lunch will be served at the designated area. A limited number of cold showers are available in the neighbouring courtyard of the Yin and Yang Square. Please bring your own towel if you want to shower before heading back to Beijing. A massage service is available at the entrance of the Yin and Yang Square. Your entry ticket is valid for one free massage. Coaches back to Beijing will depart from the bus parking lot from 12:00-16:30. The coaches will only leave when full. 


Upon check-in at your hotel, you will receive a goodie bag containing your bib numbers, official race T-shirt and tickets for inspection and race days and the gala dinner. If you don't receive your goodie bag at check-in, it will be given to you on Inspection day. Local runners pick up their goodie bags at our Beijing office. Details will be provided upon registration.

Guide book

A guide book containing important information about Inspection Day and Race Day will be available for all participants. The guide book also contains useful information about your stay in China.


It is possible to deposit bags with personal items for use after the race. Luggage can be stored in the designated luggage area at the Yin and Yang Square. Please mark your bag clearly with your name and bib number. To avoid unnecessary queuing on the morning of race day, please mark your luggage before entering Yin and Yang Square. Although the luggage area is manned, depositing personal belongings in the area is entirely each runner’s responsibility and the Great Wall Marathon organisers are not responsible for loss or damage of personal belongings.   


On race day, a team of Danish doctors and Chinese paramedics will provide medical assistance to runners in need. The medical team reserves the right to remove any runner who is deemed unable to complete the race. Please note that all decisions made by the medical team or race officials are final.


After you have registered and paid the deposit, the remaining amount must be paid before 1 March 2015. Use this form to make an online payment. Please note that if you book after 1 March 2015, the full amount (ie. not just the deposit) is payable immediately.


Finisher photos and other race images will be available after the race. Some race images will also be available in the gallery.


The race officials reserve the right to change the course and other aspects of the race without advance notice. Please note that all decisions made by the race officials and/or medical team are final.


In order to sign up for the Great Wall Marathon, participants can purchase one of two marathon and holiday packages: the 6-day itinerary or the 7-day itinerary. Non China residents: to register for the Great Wall Marathon marathon and holiday package, sign up here  - you will be redirected to our Albatros Adventure website where you can register and pay for the marathon event (a new window will open). If you are a resident in China, you can purchase the race entry only without the packages. Sign up here if you are a resident in China. The deadline for 2015 registration is 16 March 2015. However, the 2014 event sold out well in advance so we advise you to book early to avoid disappointment. If you sign up after 16 March 2015, a late registration fee will apply. Please note that if you book after 1 March 2015, the full amount (ie. not just the deposit) is payable immediately.


Results will be posted at Yin and Yang Square during the race. Final results will be published here. Live results will be availabe on race day. A link will be posted here and on the front page of our website and our Facebook page


Kilometre signs are placed at each kilometre along the route. The signs are colour coded according to the distance they represent. The signs will also indicate the equivalent distance in miles. Timing mats will be strategically placed on the route to ensure that all runners complete the distance they are registered for. There will be water stations at approximately every 4 kilometres along the route. Some stations will also serve energy drinks and bananas and provide wet sponges. Personal supplies can be deposited at selected drinks stations. For more information, have a look at the course mapWhile running on the Great Wall, please make way for faster runners and keep to the right. Please note that the route is not closed off for traffic. Although traffic is not heavy, take care when running on main roads and look out for vehicles.


All three distances start and finish at the Yin and Yang Square, at the fortress at the Huanyaguang section of the Great Wall, Tianjin province. The race will start in waves with intervals of ten minutes. You will be assigned to a wave based on the running time you provided on the entry form. You must start in the wave to which you have been assigned. Runners who are assigned to separate waves but want to start together may do so by going to the wave corresponding to the higher number. Fun Run participants will start in the last wave. Final details about number of waves and start times will be announced in the runner's guidebook that will be handed out upon arrival in Beijing.


You will receive your bib numbers in the race goodie bag. All runners will receive two bib numbers and both must be worn during the race. The large bib must be attached to the front of your body and the small one is for your back. The bib numbers are colour coded according to the distance you are running. Full marathon bibs are black. Red is for the half marathon distance and the Fun Run bibs are green. Please do not bend or fold the bibs as the timing chip inside may break. Marathon and half marathon bibs are also marked with a wave number. On race day, please go to the start wave corresponding to the wave number on your bib. 


The first section which covers approximately 9 kilometres takes runners to and over the Great Wall. This part of the course is marked by steep ascents and descents of up to 10% and consists of thousands of steps. Runners are advised to run slowly going up and down the mountain, as well as to walk when tackling the steepest parts of the Great Wall. Full marathoners will complete this section of the course twice, whereas half marathoners will only pass it once. The second section of the course, which takes runners through picturesque villages and rice fields, is run on flat asphalt and gravel roads. All roads are in good condition and do not require special footwear. Full marathoners should prepare for a long ascent at approximately 21 kilometres.


Final details about start times will be announced in the runner's guidebook that you will receive upon arrival in Beijing. The Great Wall Marathon is timed with a bib chip timing system. The cut-off time is eight hours from the start of the last wave. Further more, full marathon runners have a six hour cut-off at kilometre 32 where runners re-enter the Great Wall section of the course. All runners still on the course after eight hours will be picked up and driven to the finish line. Results will be posted at Yin and Yang Square during the race. Final results will be published here.

The Great Wall Marathon

Read more about the story behind this epic marathon. Go to article.