Grab your running shoes or simply get ready to cheer at Beijing's annual citywide marathon.
If you're faster than a music fan trying to nab Glasto tickets, then we've got the perfect speedy event for you. Beijing's annual marathon, one of only three in China, is eligible to chart world-record performances, attracts thousands of runners each year and is one of the city's biggest sporting events.
Beginning in iconic Tiananmen Square, the route passes through the city's streets and ends in the National Olympic Sports Centre (renovated for the 2008 Olympic Games). The event attracts race-goers and spectators from around the world, who come to participate in the 42 kilometre course or cheer in support of the runners. Many of the entrants compete for their chosen organisations and there are several charity events and evenings leading up to the day itself.
Google images of the Beijing marathon and you'll be hit by a wave of runners wearing little white masks - some even run in gas masks. Beijing's smog levels are unpredictable to say the least but if the 2014 marathon is anything to go by, runners will complete the 26-mile slog anyway. Just make sure you counter in wash stops along the way - 26-miles worth of detritus is no good for your skin. Organisers have sponges on hand at various stations along the track for you to quickly wash yourself down.
If you're planning to visit Beijing during the marathon then you'll need to plan well in advance, as accommodation books up quickly. And while the end-prize might be your personal best or a donation to charity - rather than a much coveted Glastonbury ticket - we think the former is likely to give you a much warmer glow. Remember, slow and steady wins the race...
For great deals on flights and events to Beijing, visit Expedia.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!