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Great Wall Marathon 2024 - 6 Night Stay - Prices from £1650.00pp

Great Wall Marathon 2024 - 6 Night Stay

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Your Experience

With breath-taking views, and challenging climbs, this event is a once in a lifetime. Since its inception in 1999, the Great Wall Marathon has become revered as one of the world's most challenging marathons. Run the most demanding marathon of your life along one of mankind's greatest monuments.

Top 100: Rated by Runners World UK as one of the 100 best races in the world (hand picked by a panel of athletes and experts in 2022)

For international participants, race entry is only possible in conjunction with a multi-day tour package. The packages include all the ingredients for a fantastic getaway: accommodation, social events, sightseeing, and select meals and transportation per the itinerary. Packages also generally include ample amounts of free time, during which you can choose to join organized excursions or explore the region at your own pace. Enjoy the sights and sounds of modern Beijing, discover one of the world’s oldest civilizations and the cultural legacy of ancient dynasties, and run the most challenging race of your life at The Great Wall Marathon!


6 hotel nights

A choice of accommodations; standard, comfort and deluxe

Meals as stated in the itinerary

Excursion to Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City

Return Airport Transfers from the airport to the hotel

Transportation as per itinerary

The Great Wall Marathon race package which includes: start number, bib chip timing, running T-shirt, supplies on route, English-speaking medical team from Denmark, and finisher certificate. For more information, see Race Info.

Comprehensive information packet and guidebook for the Great Wall Marathon event which includes detailed maps and day-by-day descriptions.

Extra night rates are inclusive of breakfast

Extensions and Excursions

15th May – Acrobatics Show £55

17th May – Ming Tombs £75

19th May – City of People Tour £75

Event Includes


6 hotel nights

A choice of accommodations; standard, comfort and deluxe

Meals as stated in the itinerary

Excursion to Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City

Return Airport Transfers from the airport to the hotel

Transportation as per itinerary

The Great Wall Marathon race package which includes: start number, bib chip timing, running T-shirt, supplies on route, English-speaking medical team from Denmark, and finisher certificate. For more information, see Race Info.

Comprehensive information packet and guidebook for the Great Wall Marathon event which includes detailed maps and day-by-day descriptions.

Extra night rates are inclusive of breakfast

Extensions and Excursions

15th May – Acrobatics Show £55

17th May – Ming Tombs £75

19th May – City of People Tour £75

Your Itinerary

14 May 2024: Welcome to Bejing

Take one of our shuttles from Beijing Capital (PEK) or Beijing Daxing (PKX) airport to the hotel in central Beijing. Buses will be departing at 30-45 minute intervals and will be signposted as “the Great Wall Marathon”. Goodie bags will be handed out by our guide on arrival. The rest of the day is free for you to explore.

Meals: Not included

15 May 2024: Beijing Highlights 

Today we will take in some city highlights on a sightseeing tour, including visits to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the beautiful Temple of Heaven. The tour will include a lunch stop for an opportunity to enjoy a local specialty - Beijing roast duck. The last stop of the afternoon will be a visit to a silk exhibition hall, where a large variety of silk products can be purchased.

In the evening we will head out for an included dinner. Afterwards, an optional acrobatics show is available for purchase, but must be pre-booked in advance to secure seats. Enjoy a fantastic evening out and watch a spectacular performance by talented acrobats. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

16 May 2023: Route Inspection Day

After breakfast we will visit part of the route, along the Great Wall, to help prepare yourself mentally for the challenge ahead. We will walk the 3.5km section, which will feature as part of all race distances. This is also a good opportunity for you to ask the Race officials and medical staff any burning questions you may have. Non-runners are also welcome to join the walk, please bear in mind it will consider a good base level of fitness. We will then head back to Beijing around 5 pm to enjoy an evening at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast and sandwich lunch

17 May 2024: Beijing and optional activities 

Today is a free day for you to rest and relax however you choose. Go shopping, enjoy one of Beijing's many parks, find a nearby spa, or simply relax in your hotel room - the choice is yours. There is also the option to join our optional Ming Tombs excursion today. This excursion departs in the morning and heads for the Ming tombs in a valley south of the Tianshou mountain, about 50km west of Beijing. Thirteen out of the sixteen Ming emperors were buried in this peaceful valley. 

Meals: Breakfast (lunch also included if you book the Ming Tombs tour)

18 May 2024: Race Day

Wake up early for the big day! Breakfast boxes will be handed out before departing the hotel at 03:30 am to head for the race start in Huangyaguan. Once at the race venue, local officials will guide you through a warm-up and speeches. The race will start at 7:30 am. Sandwich lunches will be provided for everyone in the finish area and a 20-minute massage on-site is included after the race. Shuttle buses will take runners back to Beijing between 12 and 4:30 pm

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

19 May 2024: Beijing; optional excursions & celebrations

Today is a day of recovery. Sleep in, relax, do a bit of shopping in the Silk Market, or fill your senses with the sights and sounds of Beijing. One optional excursion is available today. Please note, the excursion must be purchased prior to your arrival in China. Visit the giant panda and Summer Palace on the City of People tour. In the evening, we will all gather for the big celebration dinner. All participants will be picked up at their hotels and taken to the party venue tonight.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included (lunch is provided for those going on an optional excursion)

20 May 2024: farewell Beijing

Today is a departure day, say farewell to Beijing. Check-out is at noon and you are free to depart any time before then. Departure transfer is included in the package at no extra cost.

Meals: Breakfast included

Need to Know

On Request bookings

Request Bookings will confirm that you have accepted our Booking Conditions.  Your booking is not, however, guaranteed until our partner company confirms availability. Please expect confirmation of place within 1-3 days of making your booking. Your card payment details will still be required for the deposit to secure your space, though please be advised this information will be held securely, and the card will only be debited upon confirmation of booking. 


Albatros Adventure Marathons reserves the right to change the itinerary and/or running course without further notice in the event of extreme weather.

By signing up for this event you agree to the Terms & Conditions.


Please note that it is each traveler’s responsibility to check visa and passport requirements and ensure that they comply. Obtaining a passport and, if required, a visa, is solely the responsibility of each traveler. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after returning from your destination. 

Almost all non-Chinese nationals will need a visa to enter China. There are different categories and you will most likely need a tourist visa (L). Please contact your local Chinese embassy or consulate for more information. The procedure normally requires submitting a visa application form, paying a fee, and providing the Chinese authorities with a service voucher from the Great Wall Marathon containing hotel information and dates.

Room Options

If you are a solo traveller and choose a shared double room when booking, we will pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If you prefer to have your own room, choose single room. A single supplement will apply.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is an essential part of any holiday you take, and we highly recommend that you purchase suitable insurance for your trip.


The following arrival transfer times to Jizhou, Tianjin are included in the package price:

07:00, 09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00, 23:00

It is possible to purchase a private transfer if your plane arrive later than 22:00 (minimum 1 hour should be estimated to get through immigration and customs) or do not want to wait in the arrivals hall for the set transfers.

To make sure everybody have room on the transfers you must provide us with your arrival flight details no later then 4 weeks prior to your arrival.

If you arrive to Beijing by other means of transportation than flight it is your own responsibility to make it back to PEK or PKX to catch the set transfers to Beijing city centre, but again we need to know which transfer you then want to go on.

There will be Great Wall Marathon representatives in the arrivals hall during the set transfer time hours to welcome you and show you to the bus.

Departure transfers are included in the packages and go only as far as Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) or Beijing Daxing Airport (PKX).


Light-colored clothing, and short-sleeve technical shirts are a good choice as they do not absorb sweat (like cotton, which remains wet), sun block is highly recommended (use SPF30 or above), a running hat with visor is also advisable as it can help keep the sun out of your eyes.


In May, spring is in its prime with sunny, blue skies and lush, green vegetation lining the Great Wall. In recent years, the weather during The Great Wall Marathon has been somewhat unpredictable, varying from a low of 16°C/61°F to a high of 35°C/95°F. On average, the temperature is around 25°C/77°F. Rain is unusual during the race, but can occur. Be prepared for high humidity.

Cut-off Times

The cut-off time for all distance events is 8 hours. All runners with a net finishing time slower than 8 hours will receive a FNT (Finished No Time) on the result list.

At 14:00 (6 hours after the last runner in wave 4 has crossed the start line) the gate leading to the wall will be closed. Marathon runners who have not reached the gate at this time will not be allowed to finish.

At 16:00 (8 hours after the last runner in wave 4 has crossed the start line) the Great Wall Marathon ends.

Runners still on the route will be picked up by a race official car and taken to the finish area.


The Great Wall Marathon features three distances:

Full marathon - 42.195km/26.2mi

Half marathon - 21.1km/13.1mi

Fun Run - 8.5km/5.5mi - a non-competitive run also on the Great Wall

Distance Change

It is possible to change the distance you want to run up to 10 days before the race starts. All you need to do is contact us with your request.

If you want to change your distance while on tour, contact a Race Official after the briefing on Inspection Day. You must bring your original race number!

Change of distance is NOT PERMITTED on Race Day.

Age limits

Full marathon runners must be at least 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, so long as they are accompanied by a runner aged 16 or above

Awards and medal

All finishers receive a medal. A small, symbolic prize is given to the winners of both distances for men and women. Please note that there is no prize money.

Start / Bib number

You will receive your start/bib number 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 color-coded according to the distance you are running.

The bibs are color coded according to your chosen distance:

- Full marathon bibs - black

- Half-marathon - red

- 8.5km Fun Run - 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.

Goodie Bag

Upon check-in at your hotel, you will receive a goodie bag containing your start/bib number, official race T-shirt, Runners' Guide and tickets for the 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.

Your bib number is a tool for race directors to tell hundreds of runners apart, made of a plastic-like material, which you pin on your body. It facilitates tracking individual progress and ensuring everyone's safety. It also serves as a memento for you to remember this unique experience.

Time Taking & Results

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.

Results will be posted at Yin and Yang Square during the race. Final results will be published on this website at:

Medical Team

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.

Doctors and race officials will be positioned along, and move in and out of, the route, but will not be able to monitor all parts at all times. We kindly ask all runners to look out for each other and report to race officials, water stations or doctors if you see a fellow runner in need of help.

If you take daily medicine prescribed by your physician or need any other medication, please inform Marathon Tours and Travel in advance. 


During Inspection Day and Race Day, a variety of exclusive Great Wall Marathon merchandise can be purchased at the start and finish area in Yin & Yang Square in Huangyaguan. 

Additional information regarding the selection of available merchandise (such as Finisher Shirts, running jackets, caps, and  more) and acceptable forms of payment will be provided in the Runners' Guide. This guide book is your go-to source for important information. It will be available online in the weeks leading up to The Great Wall Marathon and a print copy will be provided in your goodie bag.

Personal Supplies

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. 

Race Officials

English-speaking race officials from Albatros Adventure Marathons are in charge of the event. 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.

By signing up for this event you agree to the Terms & Conditions of Albatros Adventure Marathons.

Rules & Regulations

Change of Distance: If you decide to change distance during the race, ie. if a half marathon runner decides to follow the marathon route instead of the half marathon route, he or she will receive a medal but not an official time. The race result will read FNT (finished no time). The same applies for a marathon runner who changes distances during the race. All runners who change distances before race day will be registered accordingly and receive an official time.

Top Finishers: The top three male and female finishers of all distances are the first three to physically cross the finish line regardless of their net time.

Gear: Nordic walking and trekking poles are not allowed.


Travelling to Beijing 

Participants must book their flight into Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) or Beijing Daxing Airport (PKX) with arrival no later than the day your tour starts (14 May 2024). See under transfers for information on how to get to your hotel.

Your departure from China can be arranged as you prefer, but kindly note that the departure transfer only goes to Beijing Capital Airport or Beijing Daxing Airport.


The Great Wall Marathon is mainly run on asphalt roads in fair condition and no special footwear is required. However, remember that high-performance clothes and footwear reduce your chances of getting blisters and calluses.

The section along the Great Wall consists of steps in varying height and width. Some steps are made of brick and others of uneven stone. Extra precaution should be taken when running this part. A few places on the wall section see no steps at all, but instead a ramp of rocks and concrete. These ramps can be slippery and extra attention must be paid to your footing! In some of the villages, the surface is gravel and dirt roads.

Route Description

All distance events in The Great Wall Marathon start from Yin and Yang Square in the old Huangyaguan fortress and begin along the same route. Immediately reaching Jinwei Highway, the route leads south for 1km before turning left on to Changcheng Highway. At this point, you are on the road leading to the Great Wall entrance and will face a 4km uphill climb. After completing the first 5km of your respective distance, you will meet the first of many steps! 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 will find yourself back at Yin and Yang Square. Fun Run runners have now completed their race and head straight to the finish line in the center 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 kilometer 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!

Route Logistics 

Kilometer signs are placed at each kilometer along the route. The signs are color 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.

Water stations will be positioned along the route at approximately every 4 kilometers. Some stations will also serve energy drinks and bananas and provide wet sponges. Personal supplies can be deposited at selected drinks stations. 

While 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.

Supply Stations 

There will be water stations at approximately every 4 kilometers 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.


Hotel Options

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  • Great Wall Marathon – Beijing Central Comfort

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    The hotels for this package have not yet been confirmed. Our standard package will include 6 nights’ accommodation at a central Beijing comfort level accommodation.

  • Great Wall Marathon – Beijing Downtown Comfort

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    The hotels for this package have not yet been confirmed. Our 7-day comfort package will include 6 night's accommodation at a comfort level hotel in downtown Beijing.   

  • Great Wall Marathon – Beijing Downtown Deluxe

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    The hotels for this package have not yet been confirmed. Our deluxe package will include 6 night's accommodation at a deluxe level accommodation in downtown Beijing. 

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Prices from £1,650.00pp

Event 1

Great Wall Marathon 2024 - 6 Night Stay

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