Petra Desert Marathon and Half-Marathon

Marathon Half Marathon
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Event Information

RACE DATE: September 4, 2021


ENTRY FEE:  The entry fee is $250 USD.

TIME LIMIT: All runners have seven (7) hours to complete the race.  Runners still on the route after the cut-off time will be picked up by a race official or medical car and driven back to the finish area. Five hours after the start however, the route closes at the 31KM mark (10KM for the half marathon) meaning that runners who haven’t passed this point by 11:30AM will not be allowed to finish the race.

COURSE: From the start line in the Street of Facades, the route goes through the ancient city of Petra and right away you will find yourself surrounded with tombs, caves and monasteries carved in the mountainsides.  A 2 KM uphill section on paved road leads runners out of the Petra Archaeological Park boundaries and via the main road towards the desert on hilly tarmac road.  After 6KM, the route leaves the asphalt road and continues into the desert. Half-marathon runners take the direct way to the river bed gorge “Siq Al Bard” while marathon runners loop around the hill top “Al Musirh”.  Leaving Siq al Bard at Little Petra, the route is back on the tarmac road heading towards the village of Ammarine

Just before the village half-marathon runners continue straight through the village while marathon runners turn left on the road leading to Wadi Araba to do a 8 KM back tracking stretch running past incredible rock formations that only few tourists visit.

When passing the 30 KM mark, full marathon runners find themselves back at Ammarine Village and merge again with the half-marathon course. From here, the route goes uphill to a mountain ridge for the next 5 KM, but the strenuous efforts are rewarded with an astonishing view over most of the marathon route, the mountains covering Petra and on clear days even Israel can be seen. On this mountain ridge the surface becomes gravel for the next 3 KM. The final 4 KM are steep downhill running on paved roads towards the finish line. 

WEATHER: It is very hot in Jordan.  Be prepared for temperatures to be in the high range of 90F.

ELIGIBILITY: Marathon runners must be 18 years of age or older on race day.  Half-Marathon runners must be 16 years of age or older on race day. 

AWARDS: All finishers receive a medal.  A small, symbolic prize is given to the winners of both distances for men and women.  There is no prize money.  

DIFFICULTY: Difficult.  Hilly course with an ascent of roughly 1,200 meters and a descent of 1,100 meters.