Great Wall Marathon

18 May 2024

Race History

Here's a brief look at how this wild race evolved - the original race on the Great Wall China!


Søren Rasmussen, founder of the Danish-owned travel agency, Albatros Travel, has an extreme idea to run the Great Wall of China. After exploring various sections of the wall and meeting with local authorities, planning begins for The Great Wall Marathon − the first-ever marathon on the Great Wall of China and the largest, most well-known and longest running event by Albatros Adventure Marathons.


Signals ring loud on 26 May, commencing the first Great Wall Marathon. Of 350 participants from Denmark, 292 runners finish the grueling marathon course.

The event’s success inspires the dawn of a new era at Albatros Travel and the organizing authority, Albatros Adventure Marathons, is born!


The Great Wall Marathon gains international recognition with participants from 8 countries.


The Great Wall Marathon introduces the half-marathon distance with 186 Finishers. Marathon entries increase.


Albatros Adventure Marathons cancel The Great Wall Marathon due to the SARS epidemic.


The Great Wall Marathon modifies the original marathon route, due to flooding caused by the construction of a dam south of Huangyaguan. We add 5KM and 10KM events.


The Great Wall Marathon celebrates its 10th anniversary!


Melanie Newton (AUS) sets a new record for the women’s half-marathon at The Great Wall Marathon, finishing with an impressive time of 1:48:55.


The Great Wall Marathon reaches max capacity of 2,500 runners for the first time!

The new 8.5KM Fun Race replaces the 5KM and 10KM.


The Great Wall Marathon celebrates the 20,000th finisher.


This year’s Great Wall Marathon represents the 60th event organized worldwide by Albatros Adventure Marathons.


Albatros Adventure Marathons celebrates 20 years of The Great Wall Marathon – that equates to over 25,000 celebratory finish line fist-pumps by brave runners from over 100 countries who conquered the Great Wall.

Mr. Henrik Brandt (DEN) becomes the only person to finish every Great Wall Marathon event – what an achievement!


Albatros Adventure Marathons cancel The Great Wall Marathon due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Full Story

Although quite a bit of time has passed since the first race and The Great Wall Marathon has grown considerably, not much has changed… The course still dares runners of all experience levels and ages come to push their limits. The positive energy of like-minded running spirits continues to be one-of-a-kind. The organizational authority remains dedicated to preserving a personal, friendly atmosphere where an exceptional experience is the first priority.

To read the full story of The Great Wall Marathon's beginnings and the creation of the organizing authority, Albatros Adventure Marathons, click here.