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Run, Beijing, run: 6 upcoming marathons to register for now

Seeking to test your athletic endurance? Register for these one-of-a-kind marathons

Image: courtesy of Great Wall Festival
Do marathons have you feeling like running for the hills? Then you're in luck. Whether you’re a couch potato looking for a reason to finally fulfil your New Years’ fitness resolution, or a seasoned runner on the lookout for new challenges, Beijing's home to a bunch of brilliant marathons – the majority of which are set on the fantastically scenic (and not-at-all flat) Great Wall.

We recommend that you check out each race's official website prior to registering to get all the details, mainly because registration regulations and course difficulty differ from race to race. Until then, check out our handy round-up to this season's marathons and hit the wall running.

Run The Great Wall

Critics' pick

The seventh annual Run The Great Wall marathon returns April 21. Check this wonder of the world off your bucket list as you scale up and down Jinshanling, with full marathon runners expected to complete a 1,856m climb and 1,890m descent. Choose from a selection of three different race distances: the 42km, 21km and 10km runs, as well as a variety of race package options for international athletes to help create a worry-free experience.

Expect nothing short of spectacular scenic views as you run towards the finish line surrounded by Jinshanling’s original Ming-dynasty outlook.

Registration closes March 21.

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Conquer the Wall Marathon

Critics' pick

Conquer the Year of the Pig by competing in the full marathon, half-marathon, 10k, or 5k events at Conquer the Wall. Apparently the first (and longest-running) international marathon, this annual run-a-thon sees runners traverse over 20,000 steps along the Jinshanling and Gubeikou sections of the wall. Conquer the Wall really does mean to conquer the wall itself, with more than 90 percent of the race completed on the wall, and zero road sections. With only 500 places available, it's advised you enter as soon as possible.

Registration closes May 4. 

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Great Wall Marathon

Critics' pick

This highly popular Great Wall adventure marathon by Danish company Albatros Adventure Marathons takes place on Saturday 18 May in the breathtaking surrounds of the Huangyaguan Great Wall.

Known internationally as one of the world’s toughest marathons, the steep ascents and descents of the unpaved terrain will prove to be more than your average running challenge. The Great Wall Marathon features three different distances; the full marathon (42km), half-marathon (21km) and a non-competitive fun run (8.5km), which offers classic views of the Great Wall for a fraction of the running.

Registration closes April 18.

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Mutianyu Great Wall Trail Run

Critics' pick

Located in the Huairou district of Beijing, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall stretches 5,400 metres and is, on average, 535 metres high. The Mutianyu section is also the Great Wall’s most well-preserved section, with 23 original-style watchtowers and a heavily forested landscape that's a guaranteed picturesque site experience. Three distances – 50km, 28km or 10km – are available. Register before March 10 for early-bird prices.

Registration closes April 28.

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Great Wall Festival 2019

Critics' pick

We interrupt all this talk of serious running for an event that's basically a Great Wall run only in spirit. Kicking off with a leisurely 5k fun run on Mutianyu, this two-day festival then follows up with three stages packed with music from both local and international DJs. You'll probably still require some serious stamina for this 'run' – mainly because you'll dance till you drop.

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Mutianyu Great Wall 18-19 May Buy tickets

Run To The Beat

Critics' pick

This annual race offers three distances: half-marathon, 10km and 5km options. Accompanying you won't just be your fellow runners, but a plethora of live bands and DJs playing music to get you pumped – talk about your biggest cheerleaders.

First established in London 2008, Run to the Beat has since gained worldwide popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. With a music party awaiting you at the finish line, it’s a fun run for athletes of all levels.

Registration closes May 15.

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Ming Tombs Reservoir 19 May Buy tickets

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