The Great Wall Marathon (simplified Chinese:长城马拉松，Chinese pinyin: chang cheng ma la song)is an annual international marathon race which is held in Beijing sections great walls. The marathon gained its name from the world heritage great wall. The whole course of the great wall marathon race is as long as 45.195km and it is consisted of 42.195km common section race and the last 3km extremely challenge section. Except Beijing marathon, the Great Wall Marathon is another main international professional marathon race that holds in Beijing.
The great wall marathon holds in October every year. The event offers a full selection of runs including a super marathon which is 45km, full course marathon which is 42.2km, half course marathon which is 21.1km, 10km and the mini marathon which is 5km. The course is much tougher than traditional marathons especially when the participants are challenged by 5,164 stone steps and many steep ascents and descents along the great wall race course.
The section of Great Wall that holds the marathon race is the Mutianyu Great Wall in Huai rou district, Beijing(北京市怀柔区慕田峪长城) . There is unique scenery along the great wall marathon race. Since 2016, sponsor of the event has up-rated the whole race course to a brand new level. The course now starts from Jiugukou(九谷口) great wall and its ends at the Mutianyu great wall, covering the most beautiful scenery along the sections. Jiugukou(九谷口), a section of great wall that sits on the great mountains; Yanqi lake（雁栖湖），a tranquil lake sits in the mountain hub; Hongluo temple(红螺寺), a temple along the race course; Mutianyu Great Wall (慕田峪长城), 73 kilometers away from Beijing downtown area, it is one of the famous sections of China Great Wall. Been built in the mid-6th century during the Northern Qi dynasty, it makes Mutianyu great wall older than the Badaling section. Enjoying he great scenery during the marathon course is one of the top reasons that makes the great wall famous.
Though beautiful and unique, great wall marathon is among those most challenging adventure marathons due to the extreme course conditions in the world. Containing more than 20,000 unrelenting stone steps, many vary in heights and many of the original sections little more than just rubble, and no less than 30 km of running experience on one of the oldest and most recognizable structures in the world. Only part portion of the Great Wall on the marathon course has been restored, the rest of the journey remains in its original state and in ruins. Runners will encounter loose stones, missing steps and crumbling walls in some sections where the great wall is taken over by nature trees and plants. Runners or participants should be fit and in shape and meet the physically test and standards the event required for your own good. It is highly suggested that to train your body properly to prepare for the race. Regular training on steps is highly recommended.
Why is Great Wall Marathon so Popular?
There are five characteristics in the great wall marathon which makes the event so popular. Firstly, it is an international professional marathon race holds by official communities; secondly, unparalleled cultural charming, based on one of the eight wonders world heritage —— the Great Wall, Chinese most famous landmark with a history of more 1300 years old; thirdly, different lengths of courses suitable for many runners to participant in the great wall marathon event; unique scenery along the course of the famous sections of the great wall; last but not the least, fully quality supply stations set up for considerate professional race supply service.