Frequently Asked Questions



Which packages offer guaranteed race entry?  All of the packages listed on our site include guaranteed race entry.  There is an addtional fee of $35.00 for the race chip.


Can my family join me, even if they don’t want to run?  Absolutely!  Our packages are created so that everyone will have a fantastic experience.  It is only on race day that nonrunners may want to find alternate activities to do.  Everyone is welcome to join us on race day at the finish line to cheer on your loved one.


What is the shortest length of stay necessary to attain the guaranteed entry? The minimum stay is five (5) nights.  You are welcome to stay for less, but there is no refund for unused components.


I will already be in China and do not require a package.  Can you still assist me with the race entry?  The race is extremely limited within the local market.  They will only accept folks that can provide a work visa or study visa that confirm their local status. 


You offer several different packages that reflect very different prices.  How do I know which is the best package for me? Not all packages are created equal.  Our agents can walk you through and discuss the different package options right over the phone.  Call us at 800-444-4097.


Why is the Marathon Tours package so much more than the other two options?  The Marathon Tours package really isn’t more expensive, it is more inclusive.  Our package includes all sightseeing, admissions, daily English speaking guides, Marathon Tours Staff, and all tips and gratuities.  A side by side price comparison will show that the Marathon Tours package offers a higher quality, more inclusive package.


If I book Itinerary 1 or Itinerary 2, can Marathon Tours still assist me with pre or post travel?  Yes.  We would be happy to have you join us for our pre-trips or post trips.  If you would prefer a different destination, just let us know.  We have specialists that can create the ideal package for you.


If I book Itinerary 1 or Itinerary 2, can I still expect to receive the same service and quality experience that Marathon Tours is known for?  Thank you for asking.  Although we will not have any Marathon Tours Staff assigned to either of these packages, you will be in the capable care of Albatros Travel of Denmark.


How is the food?  Generally, most meals are served family style.  The dishes are brought out one by one and placed in the middle of the table.  Some meals are served buffet style.  The food is well prepared and flavorful.  Do not expect “sweet and sour chicken” or egg foo young, these are American creations.  Do not expect soy sauce and hot mustard on the table.


I have celiac disease and my spouse is vegetarian.  Will there be special meals to accommodate our dietary needs?  Over the past couple of years we have experienced more and more requests for special dietary needs.  We have been able to arrange for meals for everyone, regardless of their dietary restrictions.  We have designated tables for vegetarians and special signs in Mandarin that describe celiac restrictions.


How long is the drive from Beijing to the Great Wall start/finish?  The distance from Beijing to the Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall is about 2 hours.  Marathon Tours provides transportation in air-conditioned motorcoaches with a local guide.  Ice cold bottled water is available every day.


Is tipping included?  We have included the gratuity to the local guide, daily driver, and airport baggage handling.  For those on the extension to the Yangtze River cruise, tipping on the cruise is not included.  A fee of $25.00 per person is collected at embarkation when you collect your cabin key.


Do I need a passport or Visa?  A valid passport is required of all travelers.  Your passport should have at least 2 available visa pages, and be valid for at least 6 months after your last intended day in China.  A travel visa is required of all US and Canadian residents.  Marathon Tours can assist you with attaining the necessary paperwork and proper visa.


Will I be met at the airport when I arrive and how do I get to the hotel?  Our packages include airport Meet & Greet service for clients arriving on Wednesday May 14 between the hours of 10:00am – 4:00pm at Beijing International Airport (PEK).  We can assist you with airport transfers outside of these times, or on different days, for an additional charge.  Return airport transfers are included for clients departing from Beijing International Airport (PEK) on May 20, between the hours of 9:00am – 7:00pm. 


Do I need any shots or vaccinations?  No shots or vaccinations are required (at the time printing).


With the bird flu and bad air quality recently in the news, is it safe to run in Beijing?  The air quality in Beijing is not good.  Fortunately the race is held 2 hours outside of Beijing, away from the car pollution and exhaust.  Folks with respiratory problems, such as asthma, may find it tough to breath in Beijing on some days.  Be sure to bring an extra inhaler. The bird flu was an isolated incident and has been contained.