Runners packages include the following:
- Return economy airfares from Auckland to Beijing
- Five nights’ accommodation in our deluxe hotels as recommended by our staff and past travellers
- Guaranteed entry to the Great Wall Marathon including timing chip and medal
- Escorted package including a local English speaking guide and Marathon Tours representatives while in China
- All transport included
- Western style meals included in the itinerary
- Welcome dinner with fellow kiwis
- Great Wall Marathon inspection tour including comprehensive race pack information and guide book for the Great Wall Marathon event
- Pre-race group dinner, exclusive to Marathon Tours clients
- Race day lunch and massage
- Celebration gala dinner and after party with international runners
- Late check out on your last day to maximise your sightseeing and shopping in Beijing
Despite the arduous courses on the iconic Great Wall of China, runners will be rewarded by its breathtaking surroundings and views. As the route leads participants through the lower valley and into the villages, onlookers will be cheering and the festive atmosphere is a real energy boost!
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!
What do I need to travel to China?
You will need a current New Zealand Passport to travel overseas, with a validity of six months or more after the due date upon which you are scheduled to arrive back in New Zealand. All New Zealand Passport holders must apply for a Chinese Visa to enter China. It is your responsibility to secure your visa well before your date of travel. If you have a passport from another country, or have a previous criminal conviction, a visa may be required. A re-entry visa will be required by travellers leaving New Zealand holding a foreign passport.
Do I need travel insurance?
It is compulsory that each person has travel insurance before travelling for the Great Wall Marathon. Although it isn’t compulsory that it’s purchased via Allianz Global Assistance (our preferred provider), we do highly recommend it, as unlike other companies, they provide cover for the actual marathon event. We recommend you take out insurance as soon as you book, as it will ensure you are covered in case you injure yourself prior to the event and can no longer travel.
Will I need to tip while in China?
Tipping isn't compulsory however it is recommend to be prepared to tip any local guide or driver throughout your tour.
What currency is accepted?
The local currency is Chinese Yuan Renminbi which can be pre ordered prior to your departure. Some US currency will be accepted however its important to understand the conversion rate.
How do I book?
Simply click on the yellow registration link displayed at the top of the page or phone the team on 0800 RUNNING. As this event is extremely popular don't delay. Should the upcoming event already be sold out talk to us about joining our contact list for the following year.