For one of life’s great experiences, try The Great Wall Marathon. It’s a tough, beautiful and extraordinary experience - the ideal way to combine an unusual running event with exploring one of the world’s most astonishing sights.
The 5164 steps of the Great Wall will test your physique while the breathtaking surroundings of Tianjin Province will compete with your tired muscles for attention.
The marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5km take place in a mountainous part of China about two hours drive from Beijing. Participation is part of a tour package, with a wide range of travel options to choose from.
Two days before the race, participants get to visit the Wall and inspect the course. This is a great opportunity to take photos, enjoy the scenery and mentally prepare for the task ahead.
In addition to the passage over the Wall, the course takes runners through quaint villages and farms where locals tend to animals, crops and orchards – and the pace of life is relaxed.
No runner should enter The Great Wall Marathon believing that it is an easy course. Equally, no one should consider it an impossible challenge. It takes a lot of training and willpower to succeed but, on average, a quarter of participants run this as their first marathon.
Here’s an event for those who want to enjoy some of the prettiest scenery in Canada’s British Columbia.
Peach City Half Marathon and 10K, at Penticton, is a race in beautiful South Okanagan beside pristine Skaha Lake.
The start and finish are located on the lake shore, overlooking gorgeous sandy beaches. This out and back, mostly flat and fast course follows the shoreline and returns along the same route to a finish area well stocked with rejuvenation goodies.
There are aid stations about every 3km, finisher medals for half marathon runners and awards offered to the first three age group pace-getters in both events. Entry includes a souvenir item and the chance to win draw prizes.
Penticton is well known for its hot dry summers, its two lakes, orchards
and vineyards. It is bordered on the east and west by mountains and by the 135km long Okanagan Lake to the north and Skaha Lake to the south. There are 28 wineries in the immediate area.
You can relax on a beach, hike the old Kettle Valley railway trails, play a round of golf or rock climb the world famous Skaha Bluffs.
Why not make Peach City Half Marathon a weekend excursion? There is something for the whole family.