The Dragon Challenge - China and Bhutan

Marathon Half Marathon
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Event Information

The Dragon Challenge participants will receive the following:

  • Your entry into the 2019 Great Wall Marathon or Half-Marathon, finisher medal and race shirt.
  • Your entry into the 2019 Thunder Dragon Marathon or Half-Marathon, finisher medal and race shirt.
  • The Double Dragon unique finisher medal and finisher shirt.
  • The Double Dragon awards will be presented at the Thunder Dragon celebration dinner to the top male and female participants based on their combined Great Wall and Thunder Dragon times in the following categories:
    • Male both Marathons
    • Male both Half-Marathons
    • Male Great Wall Marathon and Thunder Dragon Half-Marathon
    • Male Thunder Dragon Marathon and Great Wall Half-Marathon
    • Female both Marathons
    • Female both Half-Marathons
    • Female Great Wall Marathon and Thunder Dragon Half-Marathon
    • Female Thunder Dragon Marathon and Great Wall Half-Marathon

The Great Wall Marathon and Half Marathon:

RACE DATE:  May 18, 2019

RACE TIME:  7:30 AM

COURSE - This demanding course includes 5,164 steps on the Great Wall at Huangyaguan, which includes steep up and down portions.  More than six (6) kilometers of the full marathon are run on the Great Wall. All other races are on the Great Wall for about three (3) kilometers.  Most of the course runs through the small farmlands and villages of Tianjin Province. Many runners/walkers opt to carry a camera during their event and not be concerned about their finish time. For many, this is an experience of a lifetime, not a race!

TEMPERATURE - Expected temperatures range from 80F to 90F degrees. Humidity is high while running in the valleys. 

ENTRY FEE - All tour packages include the race entry fee, pre-race inspection tour of the course, race t-shirt, pasta dinner, transportation from your hotel to the start, return transportation back to your hotel and a sandwich lunch after the race. This must be paid by runners and non-runners alike.
Your entry is guaranteed after receipt of a completed tour application form and deposit by check.

TIME LIMIT - The course time limit is eight (8) hours.  There is also a six (6) hour cut-off at 34K for the Marathon.  Runners must reach this point within six hours in order to continue.

DIFFICULTY: Difficult. The wall section consists of steps of varying height, width and some steps are made of brick. Extra precaution should be taken when running this part. A few places on the wall section see no steps at all, but instead a ramp of rocks and concrete. These ramps can be slippery and extra attention must be paid to your footing! In some of the villages the surface is gravel and dirt roads. More information on Race website here.

The Thunder Dragon Marathon and Half Marathon:

RACE DATE:  May 26, 2019

RACE TIME:  9:00 AM

COURSE - The race route starts at Udumwara, underneath the cliff that the Tiger’s Nest is built on. The route is approx. half road surface and half farm trails, on the full marathon there is a 4km section of single track.
The first 8km are on road surfaces and slightly downhill alongside the Paro Chu (river). At 8km the half marathon splits off to the right and makes its way up and behind Paro Dzong (Fort). The full marathon carries straight on with a long and gradual climb alongside the Wang Chu (river) on farm tracks above rice fields.
At 18km the marathon route crosses the river and returns towards Paro on the other side on a gentle downhill gradient to 25km. Here, the route has the toughest climb, for about 4km on road, rising above the Paro National Museum, then on single track for 1km to the highest point of the race at 2.560m.
Dropping back down to the Paro Chu the marathon and half marathon re-join beneath Paro Dzong to cross the famous wooden bridge. The last 10km for both distances are on a gradual but long uphill climb on a mix of road and wide farm track, rising above Paro Chu, with views of the river and rice fields, before dropping into the finish back at Udumwara.
The total height gain on the marathon is 995m and for the half 450m. The altitude at the start is 2.400m and the lowest point, in Paro Town, is 2,200.

TEMPERATURE - Expected temperatures range from 60F to 70F degrees. Humidity is comfortable in May and light rain is a possibility. 

ENTRY FEE - All tour packages include the race entry fee, race t-shirt, pre-race pasta dinner, finisher medal and post-race celebration dinner. Your entry is guaranteed after receipt of a completed tour application form and deposit by check.

TIME LIMIT - The Marathon course time limit is eight (8) hours.  There is no time limit for the Half Marathon.  

DIFFICULTY - Difficult, if you do not have experience running at altitude and / or on hilly course that include some single track trail. More information on Race website here.