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12 February 2021   |   Blog   |   

The Wonderful World of the Great Wall Marathon

This Chinese New Year, we wanted to introduce you to a race like no other. Combine the ultimate sight seeing tour with an incredible race experience this year.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Great Wall Marathon. 

Since it’s inception in 1999, the Great Wall Marathon has grown in stature to become a blue-ribbon staple of the marathon calendar. The World’s Original Adventure Marathon is far from a walk in the park. The infamous course features some 5164 punishing steps and inclines ‘like nothing you will ever experience’.

Held on what is indisputably one of the world’s most iconic landmarks, the Great Wall Marathon has made it onto the bucket list for many runners. Often billed as one of the most impressive architectural feats in history, construction on The Great Wall of China began as far back as the 7th Century BCE. Many of the most famous sections of the wall however, were built under the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 CE).

At one time, it was one of the world’s most impressive and expansive defensive structures. Now however, the Great Wall hosts in excess of 10 million visitors every year. This makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions on the planet. We think, that the most memorable, and easily most rewarding, way to experience this marvel of human endeavor has to be by running the Great Wall Marathon . To find out more about how you can experience this great race for yourself, see our full tour page HERE.

Great Wall Marathon

10 Fun Facts about the Great Wall of China & the Great Wall Marathon

1. With a total length of 21,196.18 km, the Great Wall is the world’s longest man made structure. In fact, its length is approximately half that of the Equator!

2. The average height of the walls is around 6 metres, although some sections measure as high as 14 metres.

3. The average time for completing the Great Wall Marathon is 5:59:33 for men and 6:29:23 for women.
Great Wall Marathon 09_MG_0354_ Woman climbing up the steps

4. The construction of the walls spanned an incredible period. The earliest sections date back to the 7th Century BCE. The most recent constructions date back to 1878, in the late Qing Dynasty.

5. Contrary to popular belief, the walls can not be seen (at least with the naked eye) from the moon. That would be the equivalent of seeing a single hair from a distance of 2 miles away!

6. As of 2019, Mr. Henrik Brandt of Denmark is the only person to finish every edition of the Great Wall Marathon. 
Great Wall 2010 Kina _Q0E3288

7. Around 1/3 of the original structures no longer exist. Without careful conservation efforts, much more of the Wall is at risk of being lost.

8. The steepest section of the wall is  the Jiankou section. It is located between the Mutianyu and the Moshikou sections. Built on a steep mountain ridge, it is a popular hike for many visitors.

9. The Great Wall of China was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1987.

10. Since it’s first edition in 1999, over 25,000 runners have attempted the challenge of the Great Wall Marathon


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