The Great Wall Marathon

Great Wall of China Marathon Logo-238

          18 may 2024

Walk or Run the Great Wall Marathon, Half Marathon or 8.5km.

Prices from NZ$3498 share twin per person, 5 nights. 

This event has something for everyone... The Great Wall of China is one of the 7 wonders of the world as well as being an UNESCO World Heritage site. Visiting this spectacular destination is usually on the bucket list for most people and now you can incorporate it into a marathon trip of a lifetime. This challenging marathon, half marathon or 8.5km is said to be one of the most picturesque with sunning scenery of rural China.



Judy has participated 5 TIMES IN THE Great Wall Half Marathon so make the most of her first-hand experience and knowledge. Phone Judy for more information, she is happy to talk about her experience and give advice on what to expect on event day.

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Judy Wolff  at the Great Wall Marathon finish line
Our Great Wall Marathon Packages Include...
  • Guaranteed entry into the Great Wall Marathon
  • You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel 
  • 3 nights Jizhou (formely known as Jixian)
  • 2 nights Beijing 
  • Transfers to Jixian, the Great Wall and back to Beijing
  • Some meals (as per the itinerary)
  • Running top for participants
  • Great Wall Marathon inspection tour
  • Gala Dinner and after party
  • Race bib and chip timing
  • Medical support if needed on race day
  • Race medal and 20-minute message after the race

what some of our clients are saying: 

What an awesome adventure that was. The event is so well organised, the whole experience is very difficult to put into words, but it is amazing, stunning, exciting, hard, an eye-opener and humbling.  Can't wait for the next experience. Suze and Hogy.


Wow...what an experience!  This is a great way to see China.   I was travelling by myself, but felt supported the whole time, from being met on arrival at Beijing Airport by our English speaking Chinese guide Terry, through to the last day.  He was so lovely and helpful throughout the whole week.  The Great Wall Marathon is something I will treasure and remember with great fondness.  I want to do it again!  

Event Information

Cutoff Times
There is an 8 hour cutoff time for the marathon.  At 1600hrs (8 hours after the last runner in wave 4 has crossed the start line) the Great Wall Marathon ends.  

Water stops
There will be water stations approximately every 4 kms along the route.  Some stations will also have energy drinks and bananas.  All stations will provide bottled water.  Marathoners will be offered energy gel after 2kms and 25kms.  

It is spring time in May, usually with sunny blue skies.  Temperatures can be unpredictable, and vary from 16 to 35 degrees. Running the event in light clothing, with sun block and a hat is strongly advised.  Rain is unusual during the event, but can occur.  

The Course
The Great Wall Marathon starts from the Yin and Yang square in the old Huangyaguan fortress. After a flat 1km out of Ying and Yang Square, you are now on the road leading to the Great Wall entrance and have a 4km uphill climb. After 5km you meet the first of many steps and the next 3km are run on the Great Wall of China itself, including 1km around the magnificent fortress walls. Just before the 7km mark you face a 700m long section with a steep descent on the infamous “Goat Track”.

Once you’ve rounded the fortress walls and passed the 8km mark you find yourself back at the Yin & Yang Square. Fun Run runners have now completed their race and head straight to the finish line in the centre of the square. Marathon and half marathon runners can take in some energy from the cheering spectators before heading south again following the river to the Duanzhuang village. At 13km the route crosses the river and the half marathon route now turns left to explore more of the village while the marathon route heads south towards the township of Xiaying.

At km 16 marathon runners exit Xiaying town and find themselves on the Maying Highway going east passing fields and farmland for 1.5km. Taking a sharp left turn towards the tiny Dongjiafen village, the route now heads north. The 20km mark is the beginning of a 6km long loop, passing through the village of Qingshanling. Exiting the loop section at the 26km mark, the next kilometre leads up to the Chedaoyu village with a steep ascent.

Back in Duanzhuang village the marathon route merges with the half marathon route again. Marathon runners have now passed the 29km mark while half marathon runners have 5km to the finish line. Crossing back over the river, runners follow the Jinwei Highway back north to the Yin and Yang Square. Entering the square, half marathon runners go straight for the finish line while marathon runners turn right and up the steps to face the Great Wall a second time!
*All marathon runners who have not reached the steps leading to the wall (34km) within 6 hours of the start will not be allowed to continue.

On the fortress’ north wall, marathon runners head east crossing the bridge leading to the “Goat Track”. At the foot of the hill, just before getting off the bridge, a wrist band is handed out as proof that the wall section has in fact been run twice. Runners now climb the 700m ascent before conquering the Great Wall from west to east. Once the steps have been passed the final 5km are downhill to the Yin and Yang Square and the finish line – congratulations, you have completed the Great Wall Marathon and 5,164 historic steps!

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