Run a marathon in China

Marathoning is taking off all over the world as a popular sport.  Not only the East Africans, Europeans, and North Americans enjoy distance running, but the far east is also producing considerable interest in running as well.  China has planned well over 30 international marathon races for 2013, many of them vying to compete with the world's great international races.  There will be large expos, elite runners, and expensive prize money for the winners.

But running a marathon in China as a destination race is also a great way to tour the country. The choices listed below offer great locations from mountains to seaside, urban metropolis to quiet countryside.  And the race fee are considerably cheaper than those found in other countries (with the exception of the Great Wall Marathon, a non-Chinese organized event).

Do remember to get your race supplies before arriving in China.  Chinese sports stores don't offer a wide selection of premium race supplies, like Gu, energy gels, Bodyglide.  Bring whatever you need for the race before arrival. 

Race Schedule

Keep in mind that these are only PLANNED race dates.  Schedules in China are notorious for changing at the last minute.  Be sure to find out detailed race schedules from each event's main website. 

China Marathon Calendar

1. Xiamen International Marathon and the National Marathon Championship
January 5, Xiamen
2. Chongqing International Marathon
March 17, Chongqing
3. Zhengkai International Marathon
April 7, Henan Province, Zhengzhou / Kaifeng City
4. Wuxi International Marathon
April 14, Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province
5. Beijing National Distance Running Festival
April 14, Beijing
6. Yangzhou International Half Marathon
April 27, Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province
7. The Yingkou international Marathon & National Games marathon final
April 28, Yingkou City, Liaoning Province
8. Dalian International Marathon
May 11, Dalian City
9. Yellow River mouth (Dongying) International Marathon
May 12, Dongying City, Shandong Province

The Great Wall Marathon
May 18, Tianjin  (Not a China organized event)

10. Tianjin International Marathon
May 25, Tianjin
11. Dandong International Marathon
May 26, Dandong City, Liaoning Province
12. Lanzhou International Marathon
June 9, Lanzhou City, Gansu Province
13. Ordos International Marathon
June 30, Ordos City, Inner Mongolia
14. Zhangjiakou International Marathon
July 7, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province
15. Taiyuan International Marathon
September 1, Taiyuan, Shanxi
16. Lhasa International Half Marathon Challenge
September 14, Lhasa, Tibet
17. Jilin and Dragon International Half Marathon
September 15, Jilin Province and the Dragon City
18. The Ningxia Yellow Gold Coast International Marathon
September 15, Wuzhong City, Ningxia
19. Of Hengshui International Marathon
September 22, Hengshui City, Hebei Province
20. Guizhou the Huangguoshu International Half Marathon
September 29, Anshun City, Guizhou Province
21. Beijing Marathon and the National Marathon Championships
October 13, Beijing
22. Kunming the plateau International Half Marathon
October 20, Kunming, Yunnan Province
23. The Guilin International Half Marathon
October 27, Guilin, Guangxi Province
24. Hangzhou International Marathon
November 3, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
25. 100-Plus K Guizhou Challenge
November 8 to 10, Southeast Guizhou 
26. Guangzhou International Marathon
November 16, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province
27. Shenzhen International Marathon
November 17, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province
28. Yunnan Dali International Marathon
November 24, Dali, Yunnan
29. Shanghai International Marathon
December 1, Shanghai
30. Nanning International Half Marathon
December 8, Nanning City, Guangxi Province
31. Danzhou Hainan Island International Marathon
December 14, Hainan Danzhou Island City
32. Zhuhai International Half Marathon Open
December 15, Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province


You will need a visa to travel to China to race a Chinese marathon.  Check with your embassy early on to make arrangements for getting a visa to enter China as a tourist.

Make it a Destination

Of course, after training for months on end to race a marathon, as well as getting a visa to race in China, you might as well extend your trip to see more of the country than just your race city.  However, take care with making travel arrangements.  Many parts of the coutry remain behind in development compared with the bigger cities.  And be sure to learn as much Chinese as you can, since English is not widely spoken.

Good luck racing your 2013 China marathon!