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Articles tagged #Great Wall Marathon
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Five unusual races to add to your running bucket list

If you’ve run a lot of road races, you may feel that they’re all pretty similar. Whether you’re racing in Tokyo or Boston, South Africa or the U.K., you’ll probably be running a classic distance on a typical course. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to these kinds of runs, but if you’re looking for a new, think-outside-the-box race, here are a few you should check out.

1.- Défi Escaliers

The Défi Escaliers is a super cool (and extremely difficult) race in Quebec City that takes runners up and down the historic city’s many staircases and features three distance options—9K, 13K and 19K. If you enter the 9K race, you’ll face 1,250 steps between the start and finish. Despite being only 4 km longer, you run double that stair tally in the 13K, hitting 2,500 steps. Finally, in the 19K race, you’ll run up or down all 40 staircases connecting Quebec City’s Lower Town and Upper Town for a grand total of 2,828 steps. This is not a race for the faint of heart, but it is sure to be a fun time, and you couldn’t ask to run it in a cooler city.

2.- Red Bull 400 

The Red Bull 400 is a race series with events held around the world. These races are 400m in length, which would be pretty easy if they didn’t go up Olympic ski jumps. Runners who are brave enough to take on this challenge will face a whopping 140 metres of elevation gain in the quarter-mile race.

Your legs and lungs will be screaming at you if you give this run a shot, but once you make it to the finish, you’ll be glad you went for it. OK, it might actually take a few hours before you stop hating yourself for putting your body through such a brutal race, but we promise that eventually, you’ll be proud of your accomplishment. (Until the pandemic, there was a Red Bull 400 event in Whistler, B.C., but it has yet to return since the pandemic cancellation. However, there are other Red Bull 400 events held around the world, e.g., Japan, Bosnia and Austria), so if you ever get the chance to run one, you should consider it. 

3.- CN Tower Climb 

We know, we know–there are way too many races on this list with a focus on running up, but runners love challenging themselves, and running uphill or up stairs will never not be tough. The CN Tower Climb for Nature is yet another brutal challenge that takes place in Toronto every year. Participants in this run will climb 1,776 steps, but unlike the Défi Escaliers, you won’t have flat sections of road between staircases for some mid-run recovery. Not that you need another reason to run the CN Tower Climb, but it’s also a fundraiser for the World Wildlife Fund Canada, and the proceeds will go toward restoring and protecting Canada’s ecosystems. This year’s race goes on April 15 and 16. (Note: there is also a CN Tower Climb sponsored by United Way; this year’s race is Oct. 21 and 22.)

4.- Great Wall Marathon

If you’re looking for an international destination race, the Great Wall Marathon in China is an amazing option. Once again, it involves climbing a lot of steps (more than 5,000), but the views, the atmosphere and the fact that you’re running on the Great Wall of China make it well worth the effort. The race has been around since 1999, and it is extremely popular, so if you’re interested, you should register well in advance. 

5.- Wings for Life World Run

Finally, a race on this list that doesn’t necessarily involve stairs or steep inclines. The Wings for Life World Run is another Red Bull event, and anyone can do it, no matter where in the world you live. There are in-person Wings for Life runs, but the entire event is app-based, so there’s no need to travel to an actual course. What makes it unique is the fact that you run until you either want to stop or you get caught by the “Catcher Car,” a virtual car that starts behind all the runners and slowly catches up to every participating runner. This is another fundraising event, and Red Bull donates all proceeds to spinal cord research. 

(03/29/2023) Views: 383 ⚡AMP
Great Wall Marathon

Great Wall Marathon

Since its inception in 1999, the Great Wall Marathon has become revered as one of the world's most challenging marathons. Run the most challenging marathon of your life along one of mankind's greatest monuments. Since the inaugural Great Wall Marathon in 1999, the field has grown steadily to a sellout event with...


The world's best finish lines

Whether you are running your first or 50th race, there is no better feeling than crossing the finish line. We appreciate all finish lines in life no matter your goals, but we take a look at some of our favourite finish lines in races across the running world.

Boston Marathon (U.S.)

It would be hard to leave the finish line of the prestigious Boston Marathon off the list. Right on Hereford, left on Bolyston and you can see the finish line, with 500m to go. It’s a memory Boston marathoners remember forever. To hear fans, family members and Bostonians screaming at you as you run toward the line certainly gives you a final push to the finish.

Ultra de Trail Mont-Blanc (France)

This UTMB finish line sits right in the heart of Chamonix, surrounded by picturesque views of the French Alps. Ultrarunners descend from the mountain into the village after 171 km of racing, and hear the roar of the crowd as they run through narrow cobblestone streets toward the finish.

Olympic Marathon (Various)

The Olympic marathons always take place on the final two days of athletic events at the Games. Although fans were not allowed in the stadium in Tokyo, there were people lining the marathon course in Sapporo, which was one of the advantages of it being moved to that city. The raw emotion of athletes celebrating as they complete the Olympic marathon is a moment like no other.

Around the Bay 30 km (Canada)

Canada’s Around the Bay 30 km road race has a unique finish line, in which runners finish go through the lower level of a hockey arena to finish at centre ice of Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre. Friends and families sit inside the arena to watch runners cross the line. Spectators will also sit inside to avoid the freezing temperatures of the March race.

Melbourne Marathon (Australia)

Similar to Canada’s Around the Bay race, the Melbourne Marathon finishes inside one of the world’s top 10 largest stadiums: the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The MCG has a seating capacity of 100,000 people and is home to the AFL Grand Final and Australia’s cricket team. Runners enter the MCG after completing 41 kilometres around the streets of Melbourne, to finish the marathon at midfield.

Great Wall Marathon (China)

The Great Wall of China Marathon starts and finishes inside the village of Huanyaguang’s Yin & Yang Square. Despite the steep climbs on the iconic Great Wall of China, runners are rewarded by the breathtaking views along the course. In the last two kilometres, as you reach the village from the wall, spectators will be cheering as they have a traditional festival for runners.

Comrades Ultra Marathon (South Africa)

The Comrades Marathon is a point-to-point 90 km ultramarathon in South Africa, starting at City Hall in Pietermaritzburg and finishing at the Sahara Kingsmead Cricket Stadium in Durban. Race spectators wait at the finish in Durban in front of a big screen, waiting for entrants to cross the line. The race has a challenging time limit, as runners must complete the distance in less than 12 hours.

(09/04/2021) Views: 717 ⚡AMP

The 2020 Great Wall Marathon has been cancelled due to the coronavirus

The safety of our runners is our top priority. We have thus decided, in coordination with our local partners in China, that it is in everyone's best interest to cancel The Great Wall Marathon 2020 due to the situation with COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. 

We are deeply saddened to make this decision, but due to the World Health Organization's declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and resulting travel restrictions imposed by many countries, we believe that the right course of action is to cancel for this year. 

We offer a heartfelt apology for any ensuing disappointment – we are equally disappointed, but we hope to see you at one of our other races in 2020 or back in China in 2021. 

If you have already booked, you should have received a separate email detailing your options.

(02/17/2020) Views: 1,309 ⚡AMP
Great Wall Marathon

Great Wall Marathon

Since its inception in 1999, the Great Wall Marathon has become revered as one of the world's most challenging marathons. Run the most challenging marathon of your life along one of mankind's greatest monuments. Since the inaugural Great Wall Marathon in 1999, the field has grown steadily to a sellout event with...


The worlds 10 most scenic marathons that are worthy of your bucket list

These are the 10 most scenic marathoners you need to put on your bucket list 

1) Midnight Sun Marathon, Norway.  Head to Tromso, Norway to try an Arctic Marathon where the sun doesn’t set…literally! Norwegians experience the “Midnight Sun” from May 20 to June 22, which allows runners to run a marathon during the night. A big portion of the race happens along the coast, so runners enjoy picturesque views of the Norwegian sea as well as the snow-capped peaks. 

2) BMW Berlin Marathon, Germany. This marathon that starts and ends at the Brandenburg Gate takes runners in a large loop around the city. This is the perfect marathon to experience a slice of history as marathoners will pass the iconic Reichstag, Berlin Cathedral, Tiergarten and Potsdamer Platz, to name a few.

3) â€‹Marathon du Medoc (France).  This is a wine and food festival disguised as a marathon! The course will take you through the vineyards of the Médoc in Gironde. Held in the Southwest of France near Bordeaux; food stands and wine tasting stalls dot the entire course of this event. Nibbles offered include pastas, oysters, cheese, steaks, fruits, and the region's famous wines to wash down everything. This fun marathon usually turns into a carnival of spirited, costumed runners as participants are encouraged to dress, according to the year’s theme. 

4) The Hong Kong Marathon (Hong Kong).  This is easily the biggest participation sporting event in Hong Kong with over 70,000 runners from 90 countries participating in it. Marathoners enjoy some of the best urban landscape. This iconic race unfolds against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s breath-taking skyline and harbour. The full marathon and half marathon, both start at Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui racing up into New Territories, and heading back down to a spectacular finish in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island. The Hong Kong Marathon has been awarded Gold Label status since the 2016 and with total prize money of US$300,000, it is one of Asia's most prominent marathons.

5) Big Five Marathon (Limpopo, South Africa).  This is undoubtedly the wildest marathon in the world! Conducted within the private Entabeni Game Reserve in South Africa, this marathon runs through the African savannahs. True to the marathon’s name, you have a chance of bumping into lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and cape buffaloes in addition to the other animals like giraffes, antelopes, etc., along the way. The safety of the runners is not compromised as park rangers watch over the Big Five Marathon to ensure that participants can gaze safely at zebras, leopards, and antelopes as they run.

6) Great Wall Marathon (China).  This marathon isn’t for the faint hearted, but it’s the race of a lifetime. Strictly speaking, the marathon route overlaps the Great Wall of China for a small section of the race, but this relatively short section on the Wall is a challenging 5,164 steps. Participants get to run through old villages and see sweeping hillside views, with hundreds of enthusiastic locals cheering for them. 

7) Skarkasse 3-Laender Marathon (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).  This unique marathon offers runners an opportunity to run through three countries - Germany, Austria and Switzerland in one single race! This 26.2-mile journey starts on the island of Lindau, Germany, before taking runners through several Austrian towns, and then crossing the Swiss border and finishing in Bregenz. The flat terrain, half of which courses along the shores of Lake Constance, features a mix of cobblestone, gravel and asphalt. 

8) Big Sur Marathon (California, USA).  For the past two years, the Big Sur Marathon sells out in record time! Traversing through one of the world’s most scenic courses, meandering through the coastline along the azure blue waters of the Pacific ocean and redwoods, the Big Sur International Marathon held in California ranks high on the list of challenging marathons due to its alpine terrain and strong headwinds. Known for its incomparable natural beauty and dramatic coastal scenery, this race has a strict 6-hour time limit to complete it.

9) Patagonian International Marathon (Patagonia, Chile).  This marathon will take you through the jaw-dropping landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park, a route which makes way through turquoise waters, towering peaks and pristine glaciers. This is also the most eco-friendly race in the world. Instead of medals, participants have a tree planted in their name. The organisers also encourage you to carry your own water bottles to avoid cup waste. So, go ahead and fulfil your dream of running in one of the most pristine places on the planet!

10) Australian Outback Marathon (Australian).  Big open skies, cool rock formations, soft red earth under your feet, this marathon was made for adventure seekers and nature lovers. This marathon will give runners a glimpse of the famous Uluru and Kata Tjuta rock formations and sacred sites of the aboriginals of the area. 

(09/07/2019) Views: 4,045 ⚡AMP
Midnight Sun Marathon

Midnight Sun Marathon

The Midnight Sun Marathon first started in 1989 and has runners from most of the world, attracted by its special feature of running in the midnight sun. The race starts and finishes at the city center. The runners are facing the Tromso Bridge after 2 km; an uphill from 6 to 43 meters over sea level. After running about 20...


Chris Patterson is running a marathon each week for a year to raise money for Hope For Children

Ultramarathon runner Chris Patterson is nearly half way through is 52 marathons in 52 weeks challenge - and has already finished a gruelling Great Wall of China event in six hours. The 35-year-old is raising money for the international charity Hope for Children. During the Great Wall Marathon – which has been described as one of the world’s most challenging long-distance races – Chris climbed more than 5,000 steps and had to contend with steep ascents and descents amid stunning scenery. The challenges also include battling with injury and he admits he is currently ‘carrying quite a few injury issues’ but attempting to ‘work through it as best I can.’ After the Great Wall Marathon he added: I am officially broken... I’ve done a fair bit of damage. The jetsetting challenge has seen Patterson – a senior estimator with Stepnell – compete in various countries since starting the challenge in January in Anglesey. He has since run in Gran Canaria, Malta, Rome, Edinburgh and Barcelona. This is not his first eyebrow-raising fundraiser for Hope for Children: two years ago, he ran the Marathon des Sables, a 264km race across the Sahara Desert. He said, "I found myself needing another big challenge to motivate myself, so 2018 became the 52 in 52 challenge."  This weekend he competed in his 20th marathon of the year in Stockholm. (06/04/2018) Views: 1,622 ⚡AMP
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