2013 Marathon Video

Marathon runner Brendan Smith made a video showcasing the Great Wall of China Marathon 2013 event and the challenging course.

Thanks Brendan for the making a great video!

“If you are thinking about running this demanding marathon, please watch this short clip. It contains a fly-through of the course and some footage showing course conditions. Train for this one like your life depends on it – it’s VERY hard !!!”
– Brendan Smith

No comments so far!
Elaine Harvey

October 3, 2013 5:42 am Reply

Hi All

I have just watched the video and I am now terrified. I have done a lot of ultra marathons mostly road over the last 10 years, how do I know whether I should stick to the half marathon or go for the full?


    Runner Coordinator

    October 3, 2013 7:22 am Reply

    Hi Elaine, When choosing either the Half Marathon or the Full Marathon, you can always change your distance up to the day before the race if you feel you haven’t trained enough. Depending on what day you arriving in China we are happy to arrange for you to preview part of the course. In November we will have a detailed description and a basic and advanced training programs that runners can request to help them prepare for the course. We recommend that runners work their upper body as well as the lower body, you’ll need your arms for holding and pulling yourself up in some areas of the Great Wall. You’ll have 10 hours to complete the Half or the Full Marathon. We recommend signing up for the half marathon if runners are concerned about finishing in time. We really would rather have you enjoy your time during the race and really experience the Great Wall. You can always come back and conquer the Great Wall again for the Full Marathon.

james Hawkins

October 24, 2013 5:53 am Reply

I have so many questions. 1.are there water stations along the race? what is the weather like in China in May? do I need different shoes for different section of the race? I have done full marathons on the street and my time is in the 4 hour range. should I do the full in China or stick to the Half?

Runner Coordinator

November 6, 2013 3:31 pm Reply

Hi James, There are water/aid stations along the course on the Great Wall. The weather will be really warm to hot, the air when we start at 6 am will be a bit chilly then will heat up by 9am. You’ll want to wear a hat and sunscreen. the weather will cool down a bit in the late afternoon. There will be a cool breeze that will flow on the Wall at times. Congrats on your marathon 4 hour finishing times. Whether you should attempt the full or stick to the half is a really tough question. We have had really great runners not complete the marathon, while average runners who prepared did great. This is a tough adventure race. You’ll want to make sure are properly trained, hydrated prior to the race, and are over your jet lag. We recommend adding a lot of hill work to your training, working your upper body and core, in addition to the training you do now. You’ll need your upper body, and arms to pull yourself up in some areas where the Wall is in disrepair. We have a free training plan and course information packet coming out shortly. If you send your email to we will email you one. I personally recommend trail shoes, or running shoes that will give you the best of both pavement and trail conditions. You will have some areas of the Great Wall that are repaired but mostly the Wall is in ruins and will have loose gravel and rock and areas that are just crumbling beneath you. There will be trees and bushes growing on the Wall in some areas. We hope this helps and please email us if you need or want more information.

Kayde Puckett

January 6, 2014 8:20 pm Reply

Hi there! I am a little confused. In an answer below it mentions runners have 10 hours to complete the marathon, but on the FAQ page it states runners have 8 hours to finish. Which is it? Thanks!

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